Video games can be a great recreational hobby. However, video game addiction can lead to several issues. The negative effects of video games include effects on our mind, body relationships, job performance, and more. It is important to remember that video games are not inherently evil. Most of the negative effects of video games arise from excessive use and addiction.

Here are ten negative effects of video games:

  1. Dopamine addiction
  2. Reduction in Motivation
  3. Alexithymia and emotional suppression
  4. Repetitive stress injuries and other health risks
  5. Poor mental health
  6. Relationship issues
  7. Social disconnection
  8. Exposure to toxic gaming environments
  9. Poor academic or professional performance
  10. Escapism and getting stuck in life

Let’s explore each of these effects in more detail with Pritish Halder and look how we can combat the negative effects of video games.

1 Dopamine Addiction

The behavioral therapy in your brain is one of the reasons video games are fun. Your brain releases a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which regulates the feeling of pleasure from video games. When dopamine activity happens in the heart , the pleasure center of your brains, you feel joy.


Steady supply of dopamine in brain

Over time, your brain gets used to this steady supply of dopamine, and the nucleus accumbent requires even more dopamine release for gaming to feel fun. That prevents you from enjoying anything that is not as stimulating as a video game.

2. Reduction in motivation 

Unlike the core of brain, we cannot map the triumph circuit onto the brain as easily. It does not localize to one part of the brain — it’s just a general pattern of psychology and cognition integral to human beings. We as human beings value people who overcome odds.

3. Alexithymia and emotional suppression

When we experience fear, worry, shame, or other negative emotions, the emotion becomes active. The amygdala is the part of that brain that governs these negative emotions. It is also integral to our learning circuitry since it creates connections to the forebrains, the center for learning in our brain.

4. Repetitive stress injuries 

Playing video games is not an unhealthy activity on its own. However, if done for hours on end, it can quickly become detrimental to one’s physical health. Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSIs) are relatively common among gamers. Gaming requires strenuous, repetitive motion on the hands and wrists (sometimes for hours on end). These motions can cause inflammation and injury.


Here are some RSIs that you can develop from gaming:

  • Gamer’s thumb is a nickname given to a condition called de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis. It is a condition in which the tendons that move our thumb become inflamed, which leads to pain and limited movement.
  • Trigger finger, also known as cramp Tenosynovitis, is a condition in which a finger gets stuck in a bent position. It may bend or straighten with a snap, like a trigger being pulled or released, hence the name.
  • Tennis elbow is also a potential RSI that you can develop by gaming too much. It is a painful condition in which the ligament in the elbow get overloaded, usually due to repetitive movement of the wrist and arms.
  • Motion disorder Syndrome is another RSI that can be caused by gaming too much. Its characteristic symptoms are numbness, tingling, or weakness in the hand. It occurs due to pressure on the median nerve. This nerve runs from your forearm into your hand through a part of your wrist called the carpal tunnel.

 Other Physical Health Issues

We all know the feeling of getting lost for hours in a game, often forgetting to eat, or snacking on unhealthy foods. It should not be a surprise then, that obesity and malnutrition are risk factors from gaming too much. There is also some preliminary evidence that excessively playing video games can lead to obesity in teens.

Retinol strain

Eyestrain is a pervasive issue among gamers. Staring at a screen for hours on end. The eyes focus much differently on a video screen than any other flat surface, such as a notebook. It is less strenuous to stare at a notebook because the distance is constant, and the eyes know where to focus. However, on a video screen, the focus is continually changing, leading to eye fatigue. It becomes difficult for the eyes to focus on other objects, even after the gaming session is over.

5.  Poor mental health

Video games do not necessarily lead to mental health problems. However, you can be at high risk for video game addiction if you already suffer from depression, anxiety, or other mental illness. This is due to the way video games affect your brain.

6. Relationship Issues

Relationship issues that results in playing too many video games is a common issue among gamers and their families. When people get too addicted to video games, they start to neglect other parts of their lives. The first parts to go are wholesome and supportive relationships with family, friends, and loved ones.

7.  Social Disconnection

Social disconnection is a real problem in the gaming community. Out of all the negative effects of video games, this one is touted a lot. Though we play multiplayer games, we rarely end up connecting with the people in our games. Some communities are more conducive to authentic human interaction than others.

8. Exposure to Toxic gaming Environment

In our society, men are culturally only allowed to express one negative emotion: anger. If they express other negative emotions, such as shame or fear, they are seen as weak or overly sensitive. That makes men more susceptible to developing alexithymia, especially if they are addicted to video games.

9. Poor Academic or professional Performance

If you are addicted to gaming, then your academic and professional success is likely to suffer. People who play games excessively find it challenging to pay attention to their jobs or school. It is quite common to turn to video games when your performance in these areas suffers. Games turn into an escape when the responsibilities in your life feel overwhelming.

10. Escapism and Being Stuck in Life

We know that video games provide a safe space for people to escape to when they do not feel equipped to deal with the problems in their life. However, sometimes this can become problematic. If video games prevent you from finding ways to deal with your issues, then that is an issue.


As you might have noticed, most of the negative effects of video games arise from excessive use. Even the health issues mentioned only become a problem when a person spends hours in one place playing video games. While it may seem like video games can create a lot of problems, there are plenty of gamers that lead successful lives and still play video games. Moderate doses of gaming make all the difference between playing games for enjoyment and gaming controlling your life.