Gaming can help areas of the brain responsible for spatial navigation, memory formation, strategic planning, problem-solving, memory and fine motor skills of the hands. Also, playing brain-teasing games can slow the degree of mental decay associated with the natural aging process – but gaming can also generate gaming fatigue.
“Whether it’s a specially manufactured game or something like ‘World of Warcraft,’ games are cognitively complex and require mental energy and abilities to play them (...) Whenever you do anything that requires mental energy, you’re exercising your abilities — it’s just like if you exercise your muscles, you get stronger.” – and this is a good thing.
But too much of a good thing can turn a good thing in a bad one. Some people become completely hooked on gaming and rarely do anything else. Some analysis showed that people hooked on gaming might be unhappy with other areas of their life, and so, they use gaming as a temporary distraction.
Some of the signs that you are playing in an unhealthy way may be:
- Preoccupation or obsession with games
- Withdrawal symptoms when not playing
- In order to maintain satisfaction, the person feels the need to play games for more are more time, every day.
- Attempts to stop playing have failed
- No interest in other activities
- Continued overuse even though negative impacts are understood
- Lying about time spent gaming
- Frequently playing video games for six to eight hours non-stop
- Using games as a way of relieving anxiety or guilt
- Careers, relationships, or opportunities being jeopardised because of games, avoiding personal responsibilities or commitments so that gaming can continue
- Often staying up very late to play video games which regularly leads to feeling very fatigued the next day
If someone identifies with five out of the above eleven signs may have what is called gaming disorder, that can lead to gaming fatigue with symptoms like:
- Become bored
- Your eyes start to hurt or become heavy
- Your hands and back start to ache
- Migraines due to intense concentration
Going on long hours of video games requires a bit of forethought to make sure you stay healthy. A simple way to prevent or even overcome Game Fatigue is to take regular breaks.
A break, at the right time, not only prevents gaming disorder, gaming fatigue, burnout and mental fatigue but will also help you to rest your eyes, if you don’t look at the screen this is. The right break in the perfect timing can help you to feel more re-energized and more balanced. Helping you to regain focus and avoiding the 5 symptoms of gaming fatigue.
Use this break to disconnect and enjoy:
- snacking something healthy (not junk food), like nuts, apples, pears, blueberries, cheese … food that replenish glucose (good energy) or a square of dark chocolate that also helps to regulate levels of the stress hormone cortisol and stabilizes the metabolism;
- drink some water;
- or maybe go outside and do some exercise (take a walk, climb stairs, dance, do yoga, or simply stretch – just do something that gets your blood flowing).
You’ll feel energized, refreshed and ready for another game challenge.
Make sure you’re not putting yourself at risk. If you find it hard to know when it is time to stop and take a break, try Performetric application and receive a real-time alert on when its time to take a break.
About Performetric: Performetric is a software that allows users to analyze their individual metrics (in real-time) measuring and detecting fatigue-related problems (burnout, stress, etc...). Based on the users’ interaction patterns with the computer using the artificial intelligence techniques, the software provides recommendations to prevent potential behavioural changes related to fatigue or stress. Works in a non-invasive, runs in background and doesn't require data entry or frequent inputs from the user.