The Long-Term Effects of Serious Gaming

The Long-Term Effects of Serious Gaming

August 5, 2016

/ by Tin Salamunic

Gaming can be an absorbing pastime. Any gamer can recall their almost complete immersion in a new game at some time or other, but gaming should be enjoyed responsibly, and that means in moderation because research has identified long-term effects of serious gaming, including health effects.  

It does need to be made clear that there is a difference between serious gaming and a gaming addiction. You can be a serious gamer without gaming taking over your life to the point that work, family, and friends as well as your health start to be neglected. Nonetheless, serious gamers need to consider the downsides of totally immersive gameplay because there can be long-term effects to gaming for long hours without taking regular breaks.  

One of the most serious long-term effects of gaming that has been identified is the effect on our health. In some ways, this effect is obvious. Sitting down for long-periods of time, whether at work or at home, without getting up to exercise has been linked to such conditions as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. However, there are other long-term health effects from gaming that are easier to overlook because they may not seem as obvious.  

As a gamer, you will be well used to using a controller or mouse, but did you know that overuse of either device can lead to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome? This is a painful condition affecting the hands and fingers, resulting in numbing or weakness. To prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, it is recommended that you perform hand-stretching exercises and take frequent breaks. Correct posture and wrist position also help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.   

Playing a video game requires intense concentration, and that can result in eye strain and even long-term damage to our vision. Those same levels of concentration can also lead to migraines and fatigue. Again, it is essential that you take regular breaks from gaming. Fatigue can also lead to emotional problems as would a video gaming addiction in a broader sense, resulting in a feeling of irritability or restlessness when you cannot play, and isolation from others as the addiction worsens.   

If as a gamer, you have developed problems with your eyesight, the good news is that there are solutions available. Huge advances have been made by the leading laser eye surgery providers. Lasik eye surgery has become an increasingly common treatment for those with nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, and offers the benefit of quick recovery times.

Never forget, of course, that there are also long-term benefits from being a gamer. A game is essentially a creative challenge, and engaging with a creative challenge is linked with improved goal orientation and motivation as well as memory and learning. Gaming also helps improve our hand-to-eye coordination.  

Moderation is the sensible approach for whatever hobby you take up, and the same is true of gaming. It may be tempting to immerse yourself in gaming, but any hobby or pastime is much more enjoyable when balanced with other parts of your life. Gaming responsibly works well for you, and it works well for your health.

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