In 2020, analytics company App Annie announced that during the coronavirus pandemic, people began spending 40 percent more time on mobile apps than usual. Scientists are constantly studying the effects of smartphones on people, and Canadian researchers recently concluded that excessive gaming on mobile devices is a bad habit. As it turned out, many people with the help of games are trying to escape from reality and thus begin to just float, depriving themselves of the opportunity to live their life «to the fullest. Sounds like another statement of scientists about the harm of computer games, but it’s not so bad if you observe the measure. For the purposes of this article, I will explore when mobile gaming can be considered harmful, and how the authors of the research paper came to their conclusions.
The harm of games on smartphones
The results of the scientific work were published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior. According to the researcher Chanel Larche, many people use mobile games to get rid of boredom. In doing so, they experience a lot of positive emotions, which in itself is very good. In addition to boosting their mood, they achieve a high level of focus and attentiveness, which helps to get rid of the feeling of monotony of life. This leads to the fact that over time people get used to replacing boredom with games, and this habit begins to prevent them from leading a full life with all kinds of activities. Therein lies the danger of mobile entertainment.
During the scientific work scientists observed 60 volunteers, who liked the game Candy Crush. It is a popular three-in-a-row game in which you have to combine and burst colored balls. Study participants were involved in the game in different ways: some were at the initial levels, while some were already setting records. Players were asked to choose one of the difficulty levels:
- easy, in which the pace of play was slow and did not require the person to concentrate much;
- balanced, which could be passed only with maximum passion. The tempo of the game was high and the puzzles were more difficult.
As it turned out, people who wanted to escape from reality chose a balanced level of difficulty. According to one of the authors of the work Michael Dixon (Michael Dixon), such people enjoy mobile games more than the rest. Over time, this mode of entertainment becomes a bad habit, because a large number of positive emotions makes you run the game more often. Because of this, people have less time for healthier activities. As a consequence, people become dissatisfied with life and develop depression. And the consequences of this mental disorder regular readers of our website already know very well from this detailed material.