Gaming and your social relationships

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Gaming in Relationships hasn’t always proved easy.

Which Path would you chose? One path being the fruitful, colourful passage that leads to the world of gaming and the other, the path that can be riding easy or extremely bumpy which leads to the social relationships.

It can be hard to predict how life can support two almost completely different paths.

Now, for the very skilled, they’ve managed to curve their life into a fruitful, colourful path that can be easy and/or bumpy to take. 

I’m talking about our multi taskers who have the controller in one hand and Snapchat open in the other.

Not many people know the effects of video games on your social relationships, even the ones who come off experienced in this area haven’t a clue.

I especially did not know the risks of gaming so, I spent a week researching the effects, finding an endless list of negatives, but surprisingly, some positives.

In this article, I researched:

  • What is a social relationship?
  • What are the positive and negative effects of gaming on your social life?
  • Can a “best of both worlds” exist?

To kick off this article, we must learn,:

What is a social relationship?

A social relationship is any relationship between two or more individuals. Social relationships cover your relationship to others and their relationship to you.

So this can be between your school friends, work friends, romantic partners etc.

When I asked “what is the problem with playing games too frequently”, the general public would usually reply ‘lack of sleep’ or ‘getting addicted to a game, where you play it 24/7’.

It seems obvious that the majority believe that gaming would usually dominate your life; it’s not looking very good so far.

Social consequences are a big part of video gaming, as you could become isolated, lose and neglect relationships and never, ever, ever, ever leave your house to so that you can pursue a game

(This is really extreme though – I mean, you probably would have left your house to play Pokémon Go by now).

What if I told you that your social relationships are at stake? “What are the effects?”, I hear you ask and, “Am I going to become someone who never sees the light of day or am I going to be someone who will never have time for my PS4?”

Of course, there a many key discussion points as to whether or not gaming is all bad for you and your friends or if it is all good. Below are the main points that can make or break a relationship.

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The positive and negative effects of video gaming on your social relationships.

There is a variety of negative side effects to playing video games on your social life.

However, we knew there was going to be many with this topic.

Still, we need to remember that there are some positive consequences too; it isn’t all doom and gloom.

Negative: Loss of social interactions

One of the damages to social relationships is the loss of social interaction.

This could be due to spending 95% of your time playing a game and rarely talking to people in the outside world.

You wouldn’t be able to develop effective social skills in making friends or maintaining relationships in the future.

Furthermore,

You might find it difficult to work with others in the future in a job or other employment as you lack the ability to communicate.

Without effective social skills developing in your childhood/ teenage years, you can reduce the development of communicative skills thus affecting you later on.

With the impact of video gaming, it can become harder for you to:

  • interact with different people
  • enjoy other people’s company and ‘hang out’
  • find your future partner

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Positive: Meeting Unique People

On the plus side, online games can open you to a variety of communities you never would have the possibility of meeting before.

Many have made lifelong friends by playing multi-player games through the internet.

People have even said to have met their romantic partner through online games.

The best thing about the people you meet through your favourite pastime is that you already know you have at least one thing in common: you like to game.  

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Negative: Neglect of the relationship

It is common knowledge that people don’t like to be ignored, we all need attention now and then and, well, gaming can certainly take away your attention from someone else.

People in a relationship, whether male or female, can neglect their significant other due to becoming addicted to video gaming.

You could easily forget your responsibilities of your relationship, like treating them with respect and honesty as well as losing important aspects of communication.

It has been found that tension has been created in marriages after one person in the couple would be spending too much time playing video games, which has led to a divorce. 50% of couples report a strain on their marriages as a result of the addiction.

Arguments caused by video gaming are mainly due to the couple not spending quality time together or not communicating enough.

Relationships with your friends could be affected by you talking too much about a certain game, making them annoyed and not wanting to spend time around you.

You could also get offended by them for not talking about the game, leading you to feel distant and not engage in their chosen topic. You may feel like you have nothing in common.

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Positive: Gaining Skills

There are some benefits to playing video games regarding your relationships; you can try out new social scenarios.

Themes such as power and aggression are learnt through controlled conditions (inside the game), thus allowing you to accept peers in the future.

Other skills such as problem solving, hand-eye co-ordination, and team leadership are certainly tested throughout multiple games which can then be used as life skills.

These can be transferred to real situations; all skills that can be used in assisting peers, in and out of the workplace, in the future.

Negative: Stereotypes

Unfortunately,

In today’s world, gamers aren’t seen as the most social of people.

Negative connotations have led people to believe that the ones that delve into the gaming world are the ones less willing to come out for a pint.

This can seriously hinder your ability to make new friends.

Now, don’t get me wrong.

I’m not saying lie to all the people you meet and pretend you think that a PC is used only for a word document.

I’m just saying that some people might not want to see your Warhammer memorabilia; open up to them over time.

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Positive: Dealing with Emotions

Gaming can be used for escapism.

Other people find escapism through reading or daydreaming. This is when you want to forget temporarily what is happen in the present and pretend you are somewhere else.

This is a useful tool when having many problems in certain relationships. For instance, you may have trouble with bullying or you and your significant other have had an argument.

Gaming opens you to a virtual world with completely different scenarios to move on from ones in the real world.

This can, in turn:

  • reduce anxieties
  • help you temporarily forget your worries
  • help you to feel more relaxed.

I’d like to say that games may open up situations to you that hold the answer to your problems. However, most games involve violence in one way or another so I’m not sure that’s the right root to go.

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Overall, there are some criticisms of video gaming on your social relationships that are highlighted in the media but there are many positives too, like developing your social skills through talking online.

Taking these positives and negatives into account, its seems clear that while it doesn’t seem reasonable to dedicate all your time to gaming and expect to have your other friends still in the picture, you can still find a healthy balance between the two.

If you’re as organised as me, you could select certain times to concentrate on friends and partners and other times to beat the boss level on your favourite game.

Otherwise, you always need to remember to stay considerate.

If your girlfriend is unhappy, maybe you should put the controller down for a little bit, give her a hug and get to the kitchen to make her a sandwich for once.

If your friends ever wonder where you’ve gotten to, send them a cheeky message to let them know that you’re still friends and consider organising something for you guys to do every once in awhile.

And one final question from me to you: 

Have you experienced any positive or negative effects on your relationships due to playing video games? Let me know in the comments below.



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