The Influence Of Games On Our Visual Health

Disclaimer: Before I start, I would like to clarify that I am not an opponent of any of the videogames mentioned below. It just so happens that those titles were the ones that helped me to draw my conclusions. You will understand as I explain.

It happened the last time I was sick.

I was fighting with dizziness and I just didn’t feel well in general. In the beginning it wasn’t so bad and I thought that maybe a day of rest and not doing any work should fix it; so I just watched a few of my subscriptions on YouTube and had plenty of tea. Oddly enough, it didn’t get better after that day though and instead it got worse.

The conclusion I drew from all the symptoms I had (dizziness; “feeling weak”; odd body-temperature; feeling sick in my stomach) was, that I should probably get a lot of more fluids and rest, since it seemed like I caught something. And although I honestly wasn’t so sure as to HOW I caught “it”, given that I haven’t been amongst people for a while, I just rolled with it anyway; since the last thing I wanted, was to make it worse and then ending up being unable to produce any more videos or work on my other projects.

For the next couple of days, I just kept doing what I did before: Keep myself busy with some videos and drink a lot of tea; get plenty of rest. It was strange though, that there was no improvement whatsoever and meanwhile it had gotten so bad, that I couldn’t sit up for even just 20mins at once, without feeling absolutely horrible.

It didn’t make any sense; especially for me, with my medical background-knowledge. So for a while I was utterly confused as to what could actually help me; since it almost seemed like resting made it worse; yet I wasn’t even strong enough to keep sitting up; much less actually walking or going anywhere.

After about a week, I finally managed to “expel my stomach contents” (you all know what I am talking about); which made me feel a bit better, but during the whole night I couldn’t close one eye. Instead I was freezing badly (by that point my temperature had dropped down pretty low) and I had to stay put in front of my bowl, because it constantly felt like “more would be coming”. It didn’t happen and the only thing that came was an “empty cough” somewhen close to early morning. It was at least enough to let me lay down a little bit at least.

I kept staying in that very weird stage, until I got the herbal meds I ordered in the beginning of the week (it was Saturday by now) and I drank some of this solution with camphor and hawthorn; which is supposed to be good for your blood-system (low blood pressure specifically, but also the blood pressure in general). I had drawn the conclusion at the beginning of my sickness, that something must be wrong with my circuits; given how it felt like my head was “lacking blood” and how it seemed to concentrate in the middle of my body instead (pale face; low blood in head, arms and legs etc.).

I took some of those drops – as explained on the package – and within not even 2mins, my head and the dizziness got better. I kept taking those drops and eventually started watching videos etc. again, because I seemed better. But then, it happened allover again and I ended up feeling dizzy and sick to my stomach, while watching a video.

It was THEN that it hit me, that I always seemed to get worse, whenever I was watching my friend’s Let’s Play of Minecraft! And here is why:

We have a 1st person view here and you do tasks such as digging or chopping; with a camera that spins around 360° in high velocity. Basically, there is no real “steady point” on the screen or in this game that my eyes could even rest on. Instead my eyes are over stimulated with a lot of things going on, all at once!

I am not sure if the person playing it really notices it as much, but at least as a watcher, you “going down that long mining shaft” is not as slow as you might perceive it when playing.

I compared my discovery to other Let’s Play videos I was watching at the time of being sick, and I did not have any effects like that on any other game. The other games were all more zoomed out; not 1st person and did not involve doing the same thing over and over with a 360° camera.

It also makes a lot of sense, since I was watching those Minecraft videos from the very beginning I even GOT sick and everytime I would get dizzy (or more dizzy) and sick in my stomach.

The moment I stopped watching those videos, I got better.

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I really wanted to share this discovery with you guys, because I am pretty sure that I am not the only person out there reacting in such ways to Minecraft, or maybe even other games. In fact, I was sitting here and wondered, how many people get sick from a game (watching or playing), without even knowing it!

I would really love to hear any input about this topic and if you DO get nauseous or sick from a game, then you might want to consider taking a break or even not playing / watching it anymore; since some games accidentally simulate a form of “sea sickness”, due to lack of a “fix point” for the eyes to rest on.

I do know that Minecraft has a health- and hunger-system, but not even that was enough of a steady point to keep me well; because – from the corner of my eyes – I could still see the rest of the screen “spinning around”.

Also, just to clarify, I do not say that everybody reacts this way to specific games and – once again – I am not a “Minecraft-Hater” or anything of that sorts; but if you are a very visual person and are very detail-oriented or maybe just sensitive in general; you may feel similar effects from certain footage.

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I am hoping that by sharing this, I can maybe help some people to figure out, why they aren’t feeling so well.

Feel free to share my article and feel especially free to leave your own stories.

3 thoughts on “The Influence Of Games On Our Visual Health

  1. Very informative article kitteh babe! =) At first I thought maybe Minecraft was just contributing to it, not being the main factor, but after you put it in that light, I am amazed to see video games, like Minecraft, could have such an effect on the gamers, and honestly I am not surprised. Thanks for sharing this with the world! This could always open the doors for some people as they figure this stuff out! =O

  2. Mind is blown. O.o
    Well, this has been very insightful. You’d think games couldn’t have so much contributing to sickness… but you’ve shown me the truth, apparently. I guess you could say some games may cause long-term motion sickness, and I have experienced sickness while playing games with constantly swerving cameras, so I guess the game probably caused that, because when I stopped playing the particular game, I felt better after a while.
    Thanks for the information! :D

  3. Thanks! =)

    Medically speaking, it makes sense since the organ that provides balance is in your ears and if you – for example – play games where you spin around on an office chair for a minute straight or so, you get absolutely dis-oriented and thus dizzy; possibly even sick. Some games almost simulate that. Not really on purpose or WITH the purpose of making you dizzy, but I guess some developers don’t really think about it.
    That, and we also tend to play games for longer than we should. I don’t personally know a lot of people who actually turn off their console after every hour or so, to take a break. So it’s even more likely that you’d get issues at some point. =O

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