Gaming-related Health Problems

Playing video games is fun and enjoyable, and it gives a gamer a certain feeling of fulfillment when they finish a game or a mission. However, too much gaming can cause different health problems, which can also affect not only the gamer, but the people around him or her as well.

By Naypong, freedigitalphotos.net

By Naypong, freedigitalphotos.net

There is what is called video game addiction. Just like other kinds of addiction, a video game addict is not interested in things other than video games. He or she can play video games all day, all night, and also tend to feel bad if he or she is not playing. Aside from the psychological effect of video game addiction, it also has physical manifestations like losing weight, losing sleep, having problems like anemia or insomnia, and others.

As most gamers spend lots of time sitting in one position, commonly in a dimly-lit room, gamers commonly suffer from eye and hearing problems, especially if they continuously play games since they are young. Some also suffer from bad posture due to prolonged periods of sitting or staying in a hunched position.

Some gamers also develop other health problems like chronic back pain, scoliosis, or muscular stiffness. A gamer can also suffer from problems with their thumbs, such as blisters and numbness due to friction caused by rapid game play, usually with a console or joy stick.

There are also cases of death caused by too much gaming, but this only happens in extreme cases.

Obesity is also linked with playing video games, as most players, especially children, tend to just stay indoors, hunched up in a corner, playing with their consoles. Video games do not promote playin

By imagerymajestic, freedigitalphotos.net

By imagerymajestic, freedigitalphotos.net

g outdoors, and gamers lack physical activity, causing them to become overweight or obese.

Once a gamer becomes obese, he can develop other complications like cardiovascular problems, or diabetes, and unless lifestyle changes are made, the person will continue suffering from these health problems.

For adult gamers, they may also suffer from lack of social interaction, which may affect their physical functions, like the ability to bear a child. This may cause frustration and other marital problems, unless the gamer implement some changes is his or her lifestyle.

Other psychological problems are also attributed to gaming, although studies have proved otherwise. Too much gaming, especially in children, is often connected to violent behavior and aggression. Most violent games are not recommended for children.

Other gamers also suffer from epilepsy or seizures, and there are new illnesses and conditions that have been named after gaming consoles, such as Nintendinitis and PlayStation thumb.

Due to the seemingly negative effect of video games and consoles, manufacturing companies have started transforming their consoles, creating varieties that can be used by the whole families, or those that require more physical movement. Portable consoles are also developed to prevent gamers from staying in one place for prolonged periods of time.

Also, with the advent of smart phones, game producers can now create games that can easily be downloaded to smart phones, letting gamers enjoy their games without suffering from health risks.

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Health Benefits of Playing Video Games

By imagerymajestic, freedigitalphotos.net

By imagerymajestic, freedigitalphotos.net

Almost all the things that we do nowadays put our health at risk, but not all that seem risky do not have health benefits.

Take for example playing video games. For the longest time, parents look at it as evil, something that should be stopped because of all the negative effects that it gives.

However, it also have some health benefits that counteract all the risks that it gives.

Studies show that gaming help children with chronic illnesses like autism, depression and Parkinson’s disease. The research show that playing video games help children with these conditions feel more positive, and it gives them a sense of empowerment, resilience, and a ‘fighting spirit’. Also, as most games give a player rewards or achievements after finishing a specific stage, it can help improve children’s demeanor and gives them the positivity to face every day.

Playing video games can also help develop young children’s motor skills. A research showed that children aged 3-5 who were given game controllers and asked to play interactive games have better object control motor skills that those who do not play video games. Also, playing video games develop a child’s hand-eye coordination, especially when they play games that require control.

Gaming can also relieve stress and depression, as opposed to what was previously believed. Studies have shown before that video games can cause children to be violent and aggressive, but recent studies show that gaming can actually relieve stress and depression by giving children (and adults) a channel to release their aggression and stress. Those who play often tend to be more relaxed than those who do not play video games.

By imagerymajestic, freedigitalphotos.net

By imagerymajestic, freedigitalphotos.net

Video games can be used for pain relief, both physical and emotional. By using distraction as a method, those who are suffering from intense pain tend to forget their condition once they start playing video games. Also, playing video games also stimulate the brain, making it release hormones that can help someone feel better.

Contrary to popular belief that playing video games can damage one’s eyesight, recent studies show that playing video games, especially first-person shooting games, can make someone’s eyesight better. According to the study, fast paced games can improve one’s eyesight by requiring extreme amount of attention, forcing the eyes to focus and view objects more sharply.

Are you someone who can’t decide easily? Try playing video games. Studies show that video games can help in decision-making, as most games require the player to react quickly and to make split-second decisions, otherwise, the player will suffer virtual death. Games like these give the brain practice in decision-making, which will eventually be helpful in real life.

Finally, video games keep people happy in old age. People who have been playing video games since childhood find it hard to stop even as they age, and although can only play for a limited period of time, they still look forward to gaming as a source of pleasure and enjoyment. Not only are video games portable and accessible, they are also readily available.

Of course, the health benefits one can get from playing video games will be useless if it is abused. There’s nothing wrong in playing video games, as long as it is limited and controlled.

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The Culture of Playing Video Games

By Ambro, freedigitalphotos.net

By Ambro, freedigitalphotos.net

Who doesn’t like video games? Every one of us has played video games at least once in our lives. Some even play continuously since they were young, at the time when video game consoles are still available. Now, with changes in technology, games are becoming more accessible, and everyone who has a portable gaming device or a smart phone can play games anywhere.

People start playing video games as young as five or six years old, and tend to continue playing until they reach their late 30s or 40s. Most gamers are in their 20s, both male and female.

Video games can be played on different mediums, and local area network games are also popular as they function just like social networks do, except that they play games together, and sometimes even work as a team.

Some video game consoles also promote physical activity, especially wireless consoles that require movement to control the game. These kinds of consoles are sometimes sold for exercise purposes.

As people play, the games that they play become popular, sometimes creating a fan base. These fans often share the same slang and language that they learned from the game, and more often than not, the language and culture of the game eventually spreads out of the fan base and become incorporated into popular culture.

Aside from enjoying the game, some gamers also earn from playing. Professional gamers earn a lot of money just by competing with other gamers from other parts of the world. Others earn money by selling items they get in-game. Some also earn by creating models and other items based on games.

By imagerymajestic, freedigitalphotos.net

By imagerymajestic, freedigitalphotos.net

Video games have also created subcultures between people playing the same game. They share the same language and the same experience of playing the same game. Most of these gamers tend to group together in conventions and gatherings of gamers, and an outsider would usually notice the difference between one subculture from the other.

There is also a debate whether playing games encourage gamers to become anti-social. At first glance, once would think that a gamer, who spends hours playing games inside their rooms are really anti-social, but upon closer look, you’ll know that they get to interact with other gamers through the games they play, especially if they play group games or team games. These kinds of multiplayer games function the same way as social networks do, wherein players/users connect with each other online, creating a network of people one can interact with.

Nowadays there are even social networks and messaging services meant for gamers to interact and share games with other gamers. When using these services, a gamer can play a game with a friend, making the experience better.

Gaming can be fun and enjoyable, and if you are really good at it, you can even earn money while having fun. Most gamers do not really get addicted, as opposed to what non-gamers think. Gamers are also social beings that interact with other people inside and outside the game.

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