Are Games Still The Escape That Many Claim It To Be

Across the globe, a wide majority of users immerse themselves in different genres of Gameplay to enter an augmented reality outside of the troubling and frustrating everyday life. To assess whether gaming helps achieve some form of peace of mind to escape boredom or is gaming a curse that enchants the users to play more and more every time they do so. The University Of Waterloo undertook a study to figure this out in terms of what happens for the users. The researchers decided to determine whether there will be some form of flow achieved by the users. Here flow refers to a state achieved while playing video games that allow having effortless concentration at the video games.

The process that the researchers highlighted was by using the widely acclaimed and addictive game, Candy Crush. They asked for sixty users that were on levels between the 77th to the 3307th to define with different stages of form and addiction. The difference in levels allowed the researchers to figure out what level of skill is required to continue, pursue and increase the amount of time required.

This cognitive neuroscience study featured in the Computers In Human Behavior publishing with the professor, Michael Dixon, and researcher, Chanel Larche, from Waterloo’s cognitive science department as authors. The results of the study highlighted the fact that users that played the game out of boredom started to get more immersed in Candy Crush and achieved a greater level of flow as the stages of the game progressed.

The problem occurring from this was specific to addictive gameplay as users started to play these games whenever they were bored and at times get excessive. This has caused a decline in monotony towards the users and a heightened urge to play whenever it is possible.

Not only that, but those who play this as an escape seem to be more involved emotionally and psychologically in the game making it difficult to leave the game. This was termed as Maladaptive by Nixor which revolves around the condition that provides the user to experience more of the escape as things progress. It was similar to the condition of addictive drugs as the body gets used to the level of relief and wants more.

The researchers suggested that users should keep an eye out for the amount of time they are spending on this and whether it is taking up time for other activities as well. They also highlighted that the level of addiction can be lowered by projecting a time limit for users every day as they play. In the end, only combined efforts will leave the users with safety and security from gaming addiction.

Read next: Everything you need to know about gaming acquisitions
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