Driving after gaming may not be such a good idea

by Nicole Rode
edited by Kimberley Theodore

Gaming for hours may be all fun and games until you hop behind the wheel of a car.

Since the human body is not yet adapted to the sensory output from digital media, a person may experience a phenomenon called cybersickness, similar to motion sickness. The actual motion is not happening to the body, but the gamer can see it happening, which can result in side effects of headaches, dizziness, and nausea. An illness of this type can impair your ability to drive safely.

This will become more of an issue as digital screens become more integrated within automobiles and planes.

Kay Stanney, a human factors researcher in Florida, conducted a study measuring long term affects of virtual stimulation exposure and the results are concerning. Patients suffered from lack of visual focusing, tracking images and hand-eye coordination as well as balance issues.

The more stimuli received by the gamer, the more serious cybersickness will be. Video gaming is meant to feel realistic and other worldly, explained Jonathan Weinstein, a former film producer and now a professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, in an interview with the NY Times.

“The idea is to get audiences to feel like participants in the action rather than outside observers of the action,” said Weinstein.

As games become better and better, more serious health issues will likely arise.

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