By Nick Colovas

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the time-consuming curse that comes with playing video games. You get home, settle down in front of your TV, turn on your Xbox, blink your eyes and suddenly four hours have passed, and it’s time to call it a night. Video games have been around for decades now, and have made a large impact on many people’s lives.

But now, producers in the gaming industry have begun to look outside the world of the console and started to expand into the world of mobile devices, bringing them into our daily environments everywhere we go. This takes the idea of the video game beyond your living room and into your hands at work, school, even dinner with friends.

In The Classroom

Many students already struggle with balancing time between the online world and school work, and many studies show that the amount of times a student plays video games negatively correlates with that student’s GPA. Now that video games can be taken with you wherever you go, a student is never more than seconds away from drifting from reality and their tasks at hand.

Everyday Society

The impact goes beyond the classroom and young adults. Most working adults are rarely more than an arm’s length from their cell phone, which now means access to a video game is never more than an arm’s length away. So how does all of this affect everyday social interaction?

Many people believe that an increase in public game playing will lead to a decrease in social interaction. I don’t necessarily think this is true. People have been distracted by their mobile devices for years, through social media, texting, etc.—gaming is just another form. In fact, some of these games can even be educational or personally fulfilling, such as Happify.  When you think about it, is playing a video game really any different than reading a newspaper or burying your face in a book? In my opinion, the challenge is balancing screen time with real-time interactions, just as it always has been.

Do you think the evolution of mobile gaming is going to have a negative impact on society?