A study shows what gamers will look like in 20 years' time, and it's horrifying

Slumped in their armchair, eyes a little red from a marathon of gaming, posture a little sloppy. It's a well-established cliché, but does binge-gaming really rhyme with chronic backache and poor vision?

gamer future look like study scary
© Todd Jiang / Unsplash
gamer future look like study scary

At a time when video games are taking pride of place in our leisure time - gamers spend an average of 8 to 10 hours a week playing games - it's time to take a closer look at the real impact of our controllers and keyboards on our physical health. Can excessive gaming really change our overall appearance? According to the researchers, yes.

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The exaggerated but edifying representation of gamers in 2040

The image of the gamer in 2040, as sketched by this recent study, looks like something straight out of a science fiction novel. With his red eyes, deformed skull and aching hands, meet Michael. He alone embodies the insidious dangers of a passion for video games taken to extremes.

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Deja vu? Michael's appearance is reminiscent of another concept that provoked strong reactions: Emma. The latter was created to illustrate what an office colleague might look like in the future.

So, of course, even though the study takes video gaming to the extreme and doesn't concern most so-called 'casual' gamers, what makes it particularly interesting is its holistic approach. The researchers set out to understand how the whole gaming experience - immobility, eating, intense engagement - could create a cumulative impact on the body.

Read more:Humans ‘would expire’ in future world, as predicted by supercomputer

Michael's autopsy: a worrying state of affairs

If you've ever spent a few hours (or, let's face it, a whole night) in front of a screen, you've no doubt felt that stiffness in your back, that little pinch in your neck. Researchers have examined how repetition of these sessions can affect posture in a lasting way, as can the impact on eyes, hands, weight... Here are all the details:

  • Visual fatigue: reddened eyes, symptoms of prolonged exposure to screens.
  • PlayStation thumb and blistered fingers: onycholysis, disorders linked to repetitive movements on controllers, leading to blistering and muscle stiffness.
  • Nintendo arthritis: a form of tendonitis causing calluses and ulcerations on the hands.
  • Spring fingers: inflammation of the tendons in the thumb or ring finger, causing pain and stiffness.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome: repeated use of joysticks and mice, leading to nerve compression and possibly tumors.
  • Stooped back and rounded shoulders: long hours in uncomfortable positions can lead to permanent curvature of the neck and spine.
  • Hair loss and skull deformation: a lackof vitamin D, essential for hair growth, combined with helmet pressure, can lead to hair loss and skull indentation.
  • Hairy ears: poor air quality and lack of circulation can cause excessive hair growth around the ears.
  • Muscular stiffness: tense postures during gaming sessions can lead to chronic shoulder pain and repetitive strain injuries.
  • Obesity: a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits combined with intensive gambling can lead to significant weight gain.
  • Eczema: bouts of stress during gaming sessions can exacerbate skin conditions.
  • Pale skin: vitamin D and B-12 deficiencies, common in indoor lifestyles, can lead to a pale complexion.
  • Varicose veins and swollen ankles: sitting for long periods can impair circulation.

Read more:Google games: The 5 easter eggs that are free to play

This article has been translated from Gentside FR.

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