Gaming. These words make many parents concerned. The idea of facing opponents online isn’t that new as most people may think. During the mid-90s Nintendo was already trying online gaming with the SNES. Nonetheless, here are reasons why teens are becoming more addicted to online games:
As games become cheaper, more gamers can buy the latest FPS game for as little as $70. Any teen who can earn money can easily purchase any title without burning a hole in their pocket.
Gamers spend countless of hours completing games just to achieve “digital rewards” (in the form of trophies or achievements) or to “level up.” The math is simple: more play time = better value for money. It’s enough to get anybody hooked.
Online gaming is the perfect medium for a teen who wants to escape the social challenges of school. A salient feature of online gaming is that these teens enjoy a hobby with people who probably has the same passion for them. Bullying normally doesn’t happen online as it does in school. Everyone’s banding together for a common goal, and gamers can join ‘guilds’ to connect with more people.
The online world is not just made up of strangers, but gamers teens know in real world as well. Their fun starts when the school day ends, when their friends are online, capturing flags in Halo.
Gaming can be a social activity. Headsets are popular accessories used during play, which make gamers talk to each other online. It is not uncommon for your to play with a headset and talk to other people while they play against each other. The topics can vary, from the game itself to the weather.
People have the need to be good at something. For a physically inept teen, it could just be ranking top 10 in a video game. The feeling of bettering opponents is rewarding, and isn’t too hard to achieve for teens who have played long enough. Retaining one’s position in the standing is serious work, and grinding hours away is required to keep it.
Social gatherings become LAN parties. Social events that involve physical games and entertainment are becoming rare in this age. The competition is also fierce: no gamer wants to suck in a LAN party. Training for hours on end helps a teenager achieve victory. Who doesn’t want to show off and do some friendly flexing from time to time?
Gaming is a second life. Teenagers often feel insecure in real life, but they can hide who they are behind cool armor, awesome weapons, and anonymity online. Teenage boys may have a hard time talking to other girls of their age, but everyone is on the same level in the internet. Online, everything is easier. The internet gives teens the medium to be whoever or whatever they want. That’s mostly the reason why trash talk is very common online.