Gaming has seen phenomenal growth over the years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic as people find more ways to keep themselves entertained during quarantine. Companies like Nintendo and Sony have been racing to catch up to the overwhelming demand for sold-out consoles, like the Switch and PlayStation 5. A new study, however, is warning gamers at home that too much gaming can lead to a handful of health problems.
Harvard Health Publishing has claimed that excessive video game playing can lead to gaming-associated injuries as well as addiction. While addressing the fact that there is mixed research about the cognitive benefits of gaming — “better control of one’s attention and improved spatial reasoning” — much of the research is focused on the potential health risks. HHP has explained that gaming can cause “repetitive stress injuries,” which are injuries developed from overuse of certain muscles and tendons, causing pain and inflammation. Some of these injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, tennis elbow and “Gamer’s thumb” (formerly called “PlayStation thumb” and “Nintendinitis”). The medical term for the latter is “de Quervain’s tenosynovitis” and causes swelling and limited movement. But beyond these physical ailments, video game addiction is also a concern, where gamers can be at risk for experiencing “withdrawal” and “loss of interest in other activities.” HHP concludes that gaming in “moderation is the key” — most of the harm induced from gaming can be improved by simply spending less time playing.
In case you missed the news, the internet spent 100 billion hours watching gaming content on YouTube in 2020.