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Category: Games Tech

Video Game Related Sicknesses and How to Avoid Them

Written on January 02, 2011 by Chris Martin

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Although we did discuss before that video games actually improve real life skills, there are some rare instances where video games, particularly third or first person games can cause or trigger sicknesses.

I remember the first time I got my first video game related , it was the time when I was playing a third-person game called Shrek (I was 10 back then, okay?) on my Playstation. Thanks to the low resolution and ugly motion controls, my head hurted like hell and had to stop and close my eyes for an hour until the pain drifts away. It did for a moment, but the headache continued later at night which made me retire for the day prematurely. There goes my Final Fantasy 9 grind.

Although we did discuss before that actually improve real life skills, there are some instances where , particularly third or first person games can cause or trigger sicknesses. There was a surge one time in America where the media blamed as a cause for children and adult’s epilepsy, therefore, seizures.

First of all, according to Dr. Orrin Devinsky, video games do not cause epilepsy because epilepsy is a disease that can spring out anytime. Playing video games only trigger seizures but only on rare occasions when a person has high levels of photosensitivity. Parents should never limit children from playing video games just because of what the media has brought upon the industry.

Although leaning more on the physiological side of things, a study conducted by a University of Oklahoma College student found out that teenager’s, specifically boy’s, heart rates increases everything they play violent video games. This can most likely cause heart complications later on in their lives.

Last, and perhaps the most common, sickness attributed to video games is Motion Sickness. Like what happened to me during my childhood even up until now, I get Motion Sickness by playing video games. Motion Sickness or Simulation Sickness occurs because of a disconnect between your eyesight and body movements. It naturally occurs in games where you see your character move in unimaginable terrains. As your eye shift around the environment, the brain gets confused because the body isn’t reacting to what it is seeing except for your fingers, therefore causing nausea.

Although the sicknesses indicated may be isolated cases and may cause harm on rare occassions, it’s always wise to play safe while playing hard. Here are the basic precautions gamers should follow if they want a clean, sickness free game:

  • Sit further away from the TV or Computer monitor
  • Play in a well-lit room. Gaming in the dark causes stress in the eyes.
  • Use small tv or computer screens so your eyes wont stress out on the horizontal scan lines.
  • Limit your playing time.
  • Take a 30min to 1 hour break once in a while.
  • Stop playing if you’re not feeling well in the first place.
  • Remember that it’s still a game. Don’t take things too seriously.

So, what sickness did you get when you played for endless hours and what game were you playing when you got it?


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