Gamer safety information for parents

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OK, Some adults are huge gamers too, but usually the kids are more important and the parents need to be aware of the dangers involved with overdoing it.  They may not even be aware of these potential hazards or Seizures or RSI’s.

We all heard hours of watching TV is bad for anyone.  You need to get up and move around and see different things to allow your eyes to adjust again.  But you might not realize what other dangers there are when it’s gaming versus just watching TV or working on a computer for hours, non stop.

I saw this warning on the inside cover of a game I received as a Christmas present for the Wii.  Now I’m not a big gamer, but I like to play occasionally and so I read this information and thought it was very important to post and share online incase you haven’t seen this with other games as they don’t seem to all have this information or maybe you parents haven’t read the booklet their games come with.

WARNING – Seizures

  • Some people (about 1 in 4000) may have seizures or blackouts triggered by light flashes or patterns, and  this may occur while they are watching TV or playing video games, even if they have never had a seizure before.
  • Anyone who has had a seizure, loss of awareness, or other symptom linked to an epileptic condition, should consult a doctor before playing a video game.
  • Parents should watch their children play video games. Stop playing and consult a doctor if you or your child has any of the following symptoms:
    • Convulsions
    • Loss of awareness
    • Eye or muscle twitching
    • Involuntary movements
    • Altered vision
    • Disorientation
  • To reduce the likelihood of a seizure when playing video games:
    • Sit or stand as far from the screen as possible
    • Play video games on the smallest available television screen.
    • Do not play if you are tired or need sleep
    • Play in a well-lit room
    • Take a 10 to 15 minute break every hour.

WARNING – Repetitive Motion injuries and eyestrain

Playing video games can make your muscles, joint, skin or eyes hurt. Follow these instructions to avoid problems such as tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, skin irritation or eyestrain:

  • Avoid excessive play. Parents should monitor their children for appropriate play.
  • Take a 10 to 15 minute break every hour, even if you don’t think you need it.
  • If your hands, wrists, arms or eyes become tired or sore while playing or if you feel symptoms such as tingling, numbness, burning or stiffness, stop and rest for several hours before playing again.
  • if you continue to have any of the above symptoms or other discomfort during or after play, stop playing and see a doctor.

CAUTION – Motion Sickness

Playing video games can cause motion sickness in some players. if you or your child feels dizzy or nauseous when playing video games, stop playing and rest. Do not drive or engage in other demanding activity until you feel better.