Ever since the World Health Organization began recognizing video game “addiction” as an official psychological disorder, people have been guessing how prolonged gaming could transform our bodies, for better or worse. So the Canadian gaming site Online Casino recently compiled a handful of those theories and mocked up a sketch of what avid gamers could look like in 20 years. The final result is surprisingly grotesque and… hilarious?
“Everyone meet Michael, a visual representation of the future gamer,” a spokesperson told The Daily Mail. “From sleep deprivation and dehydration, to lack of vitamin D, digital eye strain, and ‘PlayStation thumb’ — these are just some of the physical implications of spending hours online, in a gaming chair, away from sunlight and physical activity.”
Much like working on a computer for hours or leaning over a desk at your day job for eternity, prolonged video gaming has been proved to worsen your posture and damage your spine, if not also your neck. But the rendering takes things much farther than that: an avid gamer will get a massive indent in their skull from wearing headphones, bald patches from a lack of sunlight, hairy ears from a lack of air circulation, “Nintendo arthritis” from excessive controller use, swollen ankles from lack of movement, and a myriad of other problems.
Some of these symptoms are possible, especially from excessive, long-term, and serious gaming. More than anything, though, a lot of these issues are a result of not taking care of yourself — something gamers are capable of doing, and many already do. How can you avoid this? As usual, by doing the obvious things: eating healthy foods, drinking water, fixing your posture, taking breaks to stretch, and walking outside every once in a while. You know, things video game outlets already tell their readers to do.
This graphic should be taken with a grain of salt considering who organized and published this study. Online Casino is — hold your surprise — a digital gambling website for “serious players.” Interestingly, it’s almost impossible to find this study by clicking through the website itself, but a direct link to the study pulls up a glossy, aesthetically appealing layout displaying all of the facts. It’s strange such a concise piece of work is hard to locate on the site, even when you know the keywords to look for.
Was this alleged study created to save the company when a user sues them for irreparable back, wrist, or body pain after years of gambling through their website?What we definitely do know is that gambling addiction is a widely known issue and one that’s been tracked in countless, verifiable studies over multiple decades.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, gaming usage has gone up 75% and increasingly more people are deciding to give new video games a try. It’s a perpetually successful industry that’s experiencing an additional boom this year, even if Joe Biden thinks its makers are “little creeps.” No wonder GameStop tried to stay open by claiming its an “essential business.”