What are the advantages of gaming? Is Esports really a sport? What can happen to those who become addicted to gaming?

Accessibility icon Gaming


Fortnite, CA, Minecraft or Roblox. What do you play?

Like all other hobbies, computer games have a culture with their own activities, language, celebrities and history. Often this is about being part of a larger environment where you learn, create and exchange information. In Norway, 96 percent of boys and 76 percent of girls play, but the share of girls is increasing.

En jente sitter foran gaming oppsettet hennes, og tar på hodetelefonene.
En jente sitter foran gaming oppsettet hennes, og tar på hodetelefonene.
Advantages of gaming:

Gaming is a good source of learning and development. If you spend a lot of time on computer games, you can sit back and relax with a good conscience. Gaming is not only fun, it is also useful. Here are six good reasons why:

1. You become better at English

Many games require you to read instructions and communicate with other players in English. Thus, you train your language skills, perhaps without even thinking about it. For some people, English becomes a favorite subject at school because they feel a sense of mastery.

2. You are social and make new contacts

Many games involve cooperation with others, across national borders and languages. With this community, you can feel a sense of belonging and make new friends. Perhaps you are an important contact for someone who doesn’t have many friends from before?

3. You become better at problem solving

In addition to getting better at collaborating with others, you also practice problem solving. There may be ethical issues – for example what is right or wrong. Perhaps your decision will affect the lives of the inhabitants of a city, or the future of one particular character? Or there can be strategic and tactical issues. How can you get the best gear, or defeat an enemy as quickly as possible?

4. Motor skills

When gaming, a high degree of motor skills is often required. You have to be quick and use both hands at the same time. You also develop good hand-eye coordination. These can be excellent qualities for subjects in school like physical education.

5. You learn to cope better with stress

Professional gamers are exposed to the same amount of stress as a top-class race car driver. That’s pretty wild to think about! Regular online gaming is probably not as demanding, but you are affected by the same mechanisms. Keeping calm and carrying out tasks in a calm manner in such situations is a manner of training where you take the experience with you into new settings and future tasks.

6. Train your emotions

Through a long session of gaming, you train your emotions such as empathy, regret, pride, satisfaction, commitment, loss, hopelessness, nervousness, panic, confusion, doubt, frustration, irritation and bitterness. Several of these emotions are quite unique in gaming.

Forrige avsnitt

1 / 7

Neste avsnitt
Jente sitter og gamer i et rom opplyst med lilla farge.
Jente sitter og gamer i et rom opplyst med lilla farge.

Gaming can be expensive

There are many different types of games available, and many of them are free. But free doesn’t always mean free! Many games are designed so that you can buy extra content that makes it easier to win or progress, or to buy other additional equipment for your characters. This is called making in-app purchases. The gaming companies make a lot of money from this!

You must therefore be aware that it can be expensive to play, and some have experienced being charged lots of money for their purchases.

Billions in profit

In 2021, the video game industry made a profit of NOK 535 billion worldwide. Norway produces a lot of computer games and exports several hundreds of millions each year. Compared to Sweden, this is peanuts, because they have a turnover of over 25 billion Swedish kroner! If you are hooked on gaming, the games industry could be your dream job!

Forrige avsnitt

1 / 2

Neste avsnitt
En mann ser ned på telefon sin som det flyr penger fra.
En mann ser ned på telefon sin som det flyr penger fra.

Gaming and parents

The challenge at home is often that this is a relatively new phenomenon and a hobby that is more difficult for parents to be an active part of. Although the majority of Norwegian children play computer games today, figures from the Norwegian Media Authority show that parents engage much more in other leisure activities than in gaming. In the government’s new computer games strategy, computer games are to be elevated to become an independent and equal leisure activity.

En gutt sitter å gamer i sengen sin. Storesøsteren hans står bak han å prøver å få kontakt med han, fordi han må gjøre leksene sine.
En gutt sitter å gamer i sengen sin. Storesøsteren hans står bak han å prøver å få kontakt med han, fordi han må gjøre leksene sine.


Esports is computer gaming in an organized form, and there has been some disagreement as to whether this can be called a sport or not. Those who engage in esports say that they have to stay in shape to be able to participate at a high level. It requires individual skills such as quick reflexes, hand-eye coordination, teamwork, leadership, endurance and strategy.

Some of the discussion about whether something is a sport or not revolves around whether or not there must be certain physical exercise. Those who believe that esports is a sport refer to other sports such as darts and billiards. So calling something a sport  doesn’t necessarily require a lot of movement.

Sports is about competition, and the goal is usually to win. Winning and losing become meaningful. Sports is organized and governed by a set of rules, often administered by an impartial referee. Doesn’t this also apply to esports?

Did you know…?

Esports is particularly widespread in Asia, but also in the US and Europe you can see that more people have started with this. Over 380 million people watched esports in 2016, and there are athletes who make a living and make good money from participating in these competitions.

At some Norwegian upper secondary schools, separate esports education programs have been introduced.

Forrige avsnitt

1 / 3

Neste avsnitt
Et team spiller på E-sport
Et team spiller på E-sport

Gaming addiction

Computer games provide entertainment, social skills and knowledge. But for some people gaming becomes an overriding activity. They become completely addicted to gaming. Those who struggle with this usually don’t want to talk about it, and it can be difficult to know how to help.

Danger signs:

  • Frustration, anger and mood swings
  • Aggressive and acting-out reaction when losing playing time
  • Many conflicts in close relationships such as family and friends
  • Opting out of family life
  • Absence from school
  • Loss of sleep, weight loss/gain, poor hygiene
  • Spending increasingly more time gaming
  • Isolating oneself
  • Poor diet
  • High consumption of energy drinks

Do you recognize any of these warning signs in yourself or someone you know? Talk to an adult you trust, for example your teacher or the public health nurse.

Forrige avsnitt

1 / 3

Neste avsnitt
En gutt som sitter å spiller mens det ser ut som han holder på å sovne
En gutt som sitter å spiller mens det ser ut som han holder på å sovne

Now you know a good deal about gaming, but how have computer games evolved?

Why are there so few professional female gamers?


Media Rights:

    1. Getty Images
    2. Getty Images
    3. Getty Images
    4. Getty Images
    5. Getty Images
    6. Getty Images
    7. BBC Ideas – YouTube
    8. BBC News YouTube