As Pokemon Go continues to take over the world, there is no doubting that it is great fun. It is revolutionary in terms of its gameplay and premise. However, it does have its dangers -- not only regarding becoming addicted, but also real physical problems which could damage one's health. Although Pokemon Go has received a lot of bad criticism for the dangers it poses, it isn't the only game putting people at risk. All gaming certainly has its problems, but when does it become bad for you?
Becoming addicted to gaming is the most common cause for concern, especially among people aged between 14-22. Online gaming can become as much a problem for young people as smoking or drinking, massively interfering with their lives, disrupting both their social life and working life. According to HSE: Gov, 16% of people in school years 7-11 suffer from addiction to online gaming.
Not only can these cause problems for people’s mental state, but also physical injuries. More and more young people are suffering from computer-based injuries such as RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury). Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is also a very common problem which gamers face, especially computer users.
A lot of gamers suffer from muscular pains and strains as well. Sitting in a bad posture constantly will undoubtedly make you suffer, as you are putting your body in a naturally bad position. It can become very easy to tense up, especially when the gaming itself becomes so intense. Taking a walk or even doing some stretches can seriously help you in the long term. Similarly, it might be a good idea to invest in a gaming chair, which will sit you in the correct position while you game.
Eye strain is arguably the most common gaming injury. Sitting for hours in front of a TV screen or a computer monitor will, of course, have an impact on your eyesight. People will become accustomed to staring at a short distance and possibly become short-sighted.
But now with the likely release of Virtual Reality games similar to Pokemon, it could become even more of a concern. Richard Murray from Arinite health and safety consultants said:
Pokemon Go has certainly shed some light on the problem, with stories of people falling off cliffs and walking into traffic becoming ever more apparent. Thousands of people are also cramming into smaller spaces, as they become further involved in the augmented reality of Pokemon. And who knows how the issue is going to be compounded when VR hits the market starting near the end of this year.
As gaming becomes ever more prominent among young people, it is essential for people aged between 14-22 to be regularly informed about the problems they can face, and take steps to minimize the damage they may do to themselves as they play.