Finding a Balance Between Gaming and Other Activities

Gaming is a popular hobby that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and genders. In fact, in three out of four American households, there will be a gamer of some sort, whether they play on their phone, console, or PC. Despite the many positive aspects of gaming, it can have negative impacts if done in excess. This is why it’s important to find a balance between your gaming and other activities.

While there is no one-size-fits-all definition of a “gamer,” we can categorize gamers into five different personas. These personas reflect how gamers think about and interact with their games.

The Ultimate Gamer: This group focuses on the high-production value, single-player games with the latest technology. They are the ones that line up at midnight to get their hands on a new console or pre-order the newest title. They prefer to play action and adventure games, but will also enjoy exploring detailed worlds and tactics/strategy games. They will often spend a lot of time playing, putting in 20 or more hours per week.

Often, these games are based on popular culture, which can be a draw for this persona. Additionally, this persona can be influenced by their social networks, who may have recommended specific titles. While the Ultimate Gamer is a large persona, it is still possible to have a healthy gaming lifestyle without falling into this category.

Enthusiast: This persona is more focused on gameplay, and the specific game mechanics that make it fun. They tend to be more active in the online gaming community, and they will often play with friends. They also like to spend time exploring and completing in-game achievements. The most important thing to this persona is the feeling of accomplishment when they complete a challenging task. This persona also ranks storytelling and high-score chasing as top reasons to play.

Casual Gamers: While this persona aims to be balanced, it is not necessarily easy. They will often spend more than 20 hours a week on gaming, but it is not uncommon for them to play less. This is because they tend to have other hobbies, but sometimes the gaming takes over. They will play to relax, or even to pass the time during a commute. They will enjoy a variety of genres, but the most important thing to them is that the game is fun and enjoyable.

Problem Gamers: These individuals struggle with addiction and spend too much time on their gaming. They may have underlying issues that lead them to play, such as depression or anxiety. They may have trouble balancing their gaming with family and work, and they may miss out on important events. In extreme cases, this can lead to self-sabotage, such as skipping meals or neglecting physical body pain.

Using video games as a coping mechanism can be harmful to your mental and emotional health, and it is important to seek help if you feel that you are struggling with this. One of our participants, Bernard, explained how he used to use games as a way to cope with stress or anxiety, but realized that it only offered temporary relief and did not solve the root cause of his problems.