The Dangers Of Computer Gaming

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Virtual gaming has been the modern mothers’ answer to keeping their kids gainfully engaged as they get on with their busy lives, after all games involve problem-solving and rapid decision-making, stimulating the player’s mind…or so we thought.

Below stated incidents tell a different story:

  • 28-year-old South Korean man died in 2005 due to heart failure stemming from playing 50 hours straight on an online video game in an Internet café
  • South Korean couple was arrested after a 4-month-old died of suffocation because they left the infant alone for several hours as they played World of Warcraft (WOW) at an Internet café

The above might seem to be extreme examples, but the truth is that computer games are eating into our psyche by the day. As we Indians are busy buying the latest consoles and mobile phones, the developed countries are having a hard time fighting “video game addiction.”

Some of the side-effects of gaming include:

  • Migraine: The prolonged and intense concentration required in video games causes undue stress to the eyes, making the person prone to migraine.
  • Aggression: Intense games lead to increasingly aggressive behaviour, which can be especially detrimental to children.
  • Sleep problems: Games make the mind hyperactive, and people who game for long hours find themselves unable to relax and sleep at night. Lack of sleep then leads to increased stress, poor memory, increased blood pressure, and a host of other problems.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: This syndrome is caused by the overuse of mouse and other gaming controllers, and involves swelling of the wrist nerves and tendons. When it gets too far, surgery is the only option left.
  • Backache: Because gamers end up sitting in a single posture for too long, they develop a bad back early on. If left unattended, this can lead to severe lifestyle problems.
  • Poor social skills: Spending too much time with games makes a person poor at interpersonal relationships. Such people are much more likely to be impatient and near-sighted in relationships, causing emotional problems that last a lifetime.

What makes dealing with gaming addiction so hard is that computers have become an inseparable element of life. However, with practice and limiting the amount of time spent gaming, these dangers can be minimized. What is more shocking is that when Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, was asked, “Which computer your children use?”, his reply was a candid, “They are not allowed all this.” Steve Jobs died of cancer giving rise to speculation that radiations emitted have damaging effects on human body.

References:

http://www.d.umn.edu/hlthserv/counseling/video%20game%20addiction%20presentation%20without%20(2).pdf

http://andrewd.ces.clemson.edu/courses/cpsc414/spring07/chp/team3.pdf

http://www.video-game-addiction.org/physical-consequences.html

http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1719

YOU KNOW YOU ARE ADDICTED WHEN YOU:

  • Think about gaming during other activities
  • Play for increasing amounts of time
  • Play for more than four hours
  • Lie to others to conceal the amount of time spent playing games
  • Feel irritable when trying to cut down on gaming

Author: Andrew Smith

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