OK, we’re not really serious about the ‘killing you’ part. There have been zero casualties linked with online gaming to date. But these games have serious repercussions when they are played at an unhealthy rate.
These dangers are not apparent from the onset, and that’s what makes them dangerous. There’s definitely a need for people, especially heavy gamers, to be aware of these possible consequences.
Let’s explore the possible negative implications online gaming brings to the table. The purpose of this is to create an awareness to ward off possible untoward outcomes.
Here are the things you should know about online gaming (to prevent them from figuratively killing you):
- Online games can kill your social life
People’s lives get ruined because they spend an inordinate amount of time playing games. They start forgetting things, even the birthdays of loved ones because they can’t stop playing. The more a gamer is hooked, the more he starts missing social events. Online games, if played at an unhealthy rate, can ruin relationships.
- Online games can kill friendships
Gamers like to one-up one another. So expect a good deal of trash-talking done by these gamers to increase the competitiveness of the games. But trash-talking can turn into flame wars. These occurrences are sad because games were meant to foster relationships, not break them.
- Online games can kill your OS
Not all online games are reliable and safe to use. There are a lot of them that contain viruses and malicious software, especially those hosted by suspicious sites. These games are hosted by servers that are used by a network of users. And these servers are highly susceptible to attacks from viruses and malwares. Expect to be affected by these attacks if you connect to a compromised server.
- Online games can “kill your wallet”
It would if your wallet breathes. What we mean is that there are online games that require trading real money for virtual products. There are scammers out there who victimize unsuspecting gamers. They scam gamers with promises of cheat codes or virtual power-ups and items in exchange for cash, only to find out that these promises either don’t live up to their potential or were non-existent in the first place.
- Online games can “kill your identity”
You’ll find that online games are not only a melting pot for scammers but for identity thieves as well. These identity thieves are highly adept at gathering the information you left on the online game’s website. Once they steal this information from you, they can then establish other accounts using your credentials. And then they auction these off to a black market where the buyer can do illegal activities with your credentials.
- Online games can kill your brain cells
Ok, we’re being a bit harsh here. But there’s a tendency that the constant playing of these games can cause degradation in the brain’s cells. There are games that are thought provoking like Scribblenauts (http://www.scribblenautsonline.com/), and there are games that are just mindless.
- Online games can kill your nerves
Try playing for four straight hours and you’ll find your neck strained and your arm muscles sore. Try playing for eight straight hours and you just might experience muscular dystrophy—a disease that weakens the musculoskeletal system and impair movement.
Online gamers are especially susceptible to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, or CTS, causes pain and numbness in the hands so strong that it can wake one away from sleep. Gamers develop CTS because their hands are constantly positioned at an awkward state. These awkward positions tend to damage the nerves.
Every gamer, whether casual or hardcore, should wake up to the fact that there are risks involved. The objective is to use this awareness to prevent bad things from happening. Online games still have a lot of benefit in them, especially if they’re being used for good.
So play games in moderation and make sure that it doesn’t affect you negatively. Once starts hampering your life, then maybe it’s a good idea to take a step back and limit your exposure to them. You, your family and friends will greatly benefit if online games are played in a healthy and non-threatening manner.