How Video Games Can Impact Your Social Interactions

Did you know that gaming is now one of the largest markets in the entertainment industry? Did you know that there are now around 3.09 billion active video gamers worldwide? That’s a 32% increase in the last seven years! Yes, wow! But some people think that gaming is just a big waste of time and that it makes people more aggressive and lazy. Gaming often gets a bad rap, but did you know that studies have actually shown it has some substantial benefits too? For instance, it can improve your cognitive abilities and problem-solving skills. But before we dive into the social effects of gaming, let’s first make sure we’re on the same page about what social interaction really means.

What is social interaction?

So, when people hang out or meet up, they interact with each other in different ways. This can be through talking or using body language. That’s what we call social interaction. When we communicate with others, we sometimes use words to say hello, goodbye, or have a conversation. But other times, we do so without words by waving, nodding, or even through the clothes we wear. In order for people to have a successful interaction, it’s important that everyone understands the code—you know, the words, gestures, or even clothing that’s being used. Actually, if you don’t know the code or codes, you might feel like you don’t fit in.

Types of social interaction

Did you know that there are five main types of social interaction?

Accommodation

Accommodation is like finding a compromise between two parties who might not completely agree on something. So, when two people or groups don’t see eye to eye and can’t seem to find a solution, the best thing to do is to try and meet in the middle and find a compromise. Basically, both sides have to compromise and let go of something they want in order to make progress. That way, at least everyone ends up getting something they want, even if they don’t get everything they want. That’s called accommodation.

Competition

You know what competition is, right? It’s when people or teams compete against each other to win a prize. The reward could be something like having control over resources or getting respect from your friends. Did you know that biology suggests that competition is a natural trait in humans and that the desire to compete is actually something that’s been passed down from our ancestors? Our ancestors competed for things like land, food, water, and even mates. And it wasn’t just physical resources either—they also competed for things like respect and admiration. These days are no different, people are always finding ways to compete with each other. 

Exchange

Did you know that exchange is actually the most basic way people interact socially? It’s when we interact with others to get some kind of reward. Most people generally act socially because they get something out of it. Yes, we work to get paid, and we tend to be friends with people who we think can help us out in one way or another—giving us emotional support, helping us out financially, or maybe even being a workout buddy. Yes, it’s true that most people tend to hang out with people who they think can bring some kind of benefit to their lives.

Conflict

Conflict is when different groups or people have their own interests and clash with each other—when they don’t work together and want different things. Have you ever noticed that conflicts often arise when people are fighting for control over resources? It can happen on a pretty large scale, too. Yes, conflicts are pretty common and natural because it’s impossible for two people to always want and need the same things. There are other reasons why conflicts can happen as well. Have you ever been in a situation where someone said or did something that offended you? It can definitely lead to some conflict in social interactions.

Cooperation

Basically, cooperation is when people team up to reach the same objective. 

Can you imagine how dull it would be if people didn’t work together? Cooperation is what makes things happen and brings people closer. Yes, it’s pretty amazing how much we can achieve when we work together. Cooperation is key to creating great things, and yes, communication is the first step toward cooperation.

Social effects of video games

Negative

Your social relationships are the biggest factor in determining your health, happiness, and overall quality of life. It doesn’t matter who you are, having strong connections with others is key. Without them, life can feel meaningless, a feeling that often leads to depression. These connections, however, can be difficult for you to achieve if you’re glued to your screen all day. Social skills are kind of like muscles; if you don’t exercise them, they can get weaker and weaker. So it’s important to keep working on them to keep them strong and healthy. Some gamers, especially those who struggle with gaming addiction, find it difficult to socialize, either because they lack the necessary social skills or because they suffer from social anxiety. 

Social anxiety and gaming disorders tend to go hand in hand and impact each other quite a bit—either one can develop first. When people suffer from social anxiety, video games can sometimes serve as a great escape if you don’t think about others and only focus on yourself.  But it’s only a temporary solution; in the long run, it can seriously impact your social life. Just know that if you’re not meeting or interacting with other people, it’s possible that your social anxiety could get worse. 

It’s tough to keep up with friends and family sometimes, but if you neglect them too much, you might end up feeling isolated and find it hard to make new connections. Some gamers find comfort in meeting other gamers online, but that’s only a temporary fix—there’s no way these online gamers can really replace real-life friendships. Furthermore, you need to remember to always carry out PhoneHistory or Google searches to verify a person’s identity before you pursue a relationship with them.

Positive

People often think video games are just a way to avoid dealing with real life, but it turns out they can actually help you improve some social skills. Their interactive nature makes them perfect for both kids and adults to learn how to interact with others. Video games also help you solve real-life problems. It’s true! Researchers have found a link between the ability to solve problems while playing video games and problem-solving skills in the real world. 

Video games can actually help you improve your communication skills. They teach you strategies and techniques for resolving conflicts, and they’re a fun way to practice negotiation and collaboration with other players. Video games can actually help people practice their social skills without any real-world consequences. It’s a safe way to improve your social abilities! This environment lets players experiment with social interactions and get better at understanding their own behavior and the behavior of others. 

Let’s not forget how playing video games can help you develop your collaboration skills. Since many games are team-based, they encourage players to work together toward a common goal.

Final thoughts

Playing video games can actually help improve social skills in people of all ages. They’re not just fun, they also teach us important skills, like working together, communicating effectively, and solving problems. Playing video games with your loved ones can actually bring you closer together. Sharing those experiences can create some really strong bonds between players. So, if you’re looking for some fun ways to bond with your kids or improve your social skills, give gaming a try, the possibilities are endless!

Maria Colombo
Maria Colombo
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