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02/08/2018 / By Vicki Batts
In the modern world, people around the globe are spending more time sitting down — there’s virtually no debate about that fact. But, just how bad is it? Well, in China, one video game addict has unfortunately learned that spending endless hours glued to a chair can come with dire consequences — like paralysis. Are video games really worth losing your legs? For some, it seems that may be true. But the perils of video games are not always so readily apparent. Addiction to the controller is a growing problem that seemingly isn’t taken seriously enough.
Unlike drug addiction, video games are often seen as harmless fun — but as one man in China learned, that may not always be true.
Recent reports claim that a Chinese gamer lost feeling in his body from the waist down after a 20-hour video game binge at a local video game cafe. Chinese news site QQ.com says that the unidentified man realized something was amiss when he tried to stand up to use the toilet, and found that he could not feel his own legs. One of his friends, who was present at the cafe, is quoted as saying, “It seems he had lost sensation completely, and couldn’t move at all. We had to call for an ambulance.”
While what game the man was playing has yet to be revealed, the Daily Mail reports that he embarked on his gaming binge at a video game cafe located in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province. Reports also indicate that the man is in hospital for observation.
There is no shortage of stories about the damage video gaming can wreak. One critically ill child reportedly spent nearly $23,600 in purchases while playing the most popular game in China, King Of Glory; it was all of the money his mother had saved up for his treatment. Last year, a woman in China went blind in one eye after playing a video game on her cell phone all day.
One must wonder: If people are so engaged in their video game habits that they do physical harm to their bodies, or spend through an entire savings account, is it really that different from any other form of addiction? Gambling, drugs, even food, are all things that people can be addicted to — and seek treatment for. What about video games?
It was revealed in late 2017 that a draft of the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases would include “gaming disorder” among its pages on “disorders due to addictive behaviors.” While playing a lot of video games doesn’t inherently make you an addict, it is certainly a risk factor. However, in order to truly be an addict, your gaming habit must also impair a key aspect (or aspects) of your life, such as your job, family or social life.
While there are studies that show some video games can confer benefits onto players, such as better hand-eye coordination, ultimately, video games are not the only way to improve these skills. Further, you might question whether or not these “benefits” outweigh the implicit health risks of making a hobby out of sitting down. [Related: Read more stories about the real-life oddities of the world at Stupid.news]
Sources for this article include: