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    Default Video Games pros/cons

    Too much PlayStation can cause painful lumps?

    Feb 24, 2009

    LONDON (Reuters) – Gamers beware: Keeping too tight a grip on the console and furiously pushing the buttons can cause a newly identified skin disorder marked by painful lumps on the palms, Swiss scientists said Tuesday.

    Called "PlayStation palmar hidradentitis" by the scientists, the skin disorder can cause painful lesions on the palms similar to patches found on the soles of children's feet after taking part in heavy physical activity, they said.

    "The tight and continuous grasping of the hand-grips together with repeated pushing of the buttons produce minor but continuous trauma to the (palm) surfaces," Vincent Piguet and colleagues at University Hospitals and Medical School of Geneva reported in the British Journal of Dermatology.

    A spokesman for Sony Corp, which makes the PlayStation, noted the study involved one person and said the company had sold hundreds of millions of the consoles since the product was introduced in 1995.

    "As with any leisure pursuit there are possible consequences of not following common sense, health advice and guidelines, as can be found within our instruction manuals," Sony spokesman David Wilson said.

    "We would not wish to belittle this research and we will study the findings with interest, but this is the first time we have ever heard of a complaint of this nature."

    Excessive gaming is already seen as a public health issue, sparking addictive behavior that can lead to a range of psychological problems, the researchers said.

    Other researchers have identified acute tendonitis from playing too much of Nintendo Co Ltd's Wii, and now a disorder related to the PlayStation can be added to the list, the team said.

    Their study described the case of a 12-year-old girl who attended the Geneva hospital with intensely painful lesions on her hands, which she had developed four weeks earlier. She had no other lesions anywhere else on her body.

    After questioning, the doctors discovered that several days prior to the appearance of the lesions the girl had started to play a game on her PlayStation for several hours each day.

    The researchers suspected that grasping the console's hand-grips together with repeated pushing of the buttons produced minor but prolonged injury to the palm of the girl's hands, which can be made worse by sweating during a tense game.

    The doctors recommended the girl stop playing and she recovered fully after 10 days, the researchers said.

    "If you're worried about soreness on your hands when playing a games console, it might be sensible to give your hands a break from time to time, and don't play excessively if your hands are prone to sweating," Nina Goad of the British Association of Dermatologists said in a statement.

    (Reporting by Michael Kahn, Editing by Will Dunham)

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    Video Games Play May Provide Learning, Health, Social Benefits, Review Finds


    Playing video games, including violent shooter games, may boost children’s learning, health and social skills, according to a review of research on the positive effects of video game play to be published by the American Psychological Association.

    The study comes out as debate continues among psychologists and other health professionals regarding the effects of violent media on youth.

    “Important research has already been conducted for decades on the negative effects of gaming, including addiction, depression and aggression, and we are certainly not suggesting that this should be ignored,” said lead author Isabela Granic, PhD, of Radboud University Nijmegen in The Netherlands. “However,to understand the impact of video games on children’s and adolescents’ development, amore balanced perspective is needed.”

    more @ https://www.apa.org/news/press/relea...deo-games.aspx


    The educational benefits of video games


    Video games have great positive potential in addition to their entertainment value and there has been considerable success when games are designed to address a specific problem or to teach a certain skill.

    Research has consistently shown that playing computer games produces reductions in reaction times,improved hand-eye co-ordination and raises players’ self-esteem

    > video game can be used as research and/or measurement tools. Furthermore, as research tools they have great diversity
    > video game attract participation by individuals across many demographic boundaries (e.g., age, gender, ethnicity, educational status)
    > video game can assist children in setting goals, ensuring goal rehearsal, providing feedback, reinforcement, and maintaining records of behavioural change
    > video game can be useful because they allow the researcher to measure performance on a very wide variety of tasks, and can be easily changed, standardized and understood
    > video game can be used when examining individual characteristics such as self-esteem, self-concept, goal-setting and individual differences
    > video game are fun and stimulating for participants Consequently, it is easier to achieve and maintain a person’s undivided attention for long periods of time. Because of the fun and excitement, they may also provide an innovative way of learning
    > video game can provide elements of interactivity that may stimulate learning
    > video game also allow participants to experience novelty, curiosity and challenge. This may stimulate learning
    > video game equip children with state-of-the art technology. This may help overcome technophobia (a condition well-known among many adults). Over time it may also help eliminate gender imbalance in IT use (as males tend to be more avid IT users)
    > video game may help in the development of transferable IT skills
    > video game can act as simulations. These allow participants to engage in extraordinary activities and to destroy or even die without real consequences
    > video game may help adolescents regress to childhood play (because of the ability to suspend reality in video game playing)

    Despite the disadvantages, it would appear that video game(in the right context) may be a facilitatory educational aid.

    Video games and the development of skills among special need groups

    Video games have been used in comprehensive programmes to help develop social skills in children and adolescents who are severely retarded or who have severe developmental problems like autism.

    Language skills
    These included video game play being able to facilitate (i) discussing and sharing, (ii) following directions (understanding prepositions etc.), (iii) giving directions, (iv) answering questions, and (v) having a discussion topic with visual aides to share with others.

    Basic maths skills
    These included video game playing promoting basic maths skills as children learn to interact with the score counters on video game.

    Basic reading skills
    These included video game’ character dialogue which are printed on the screen (‘Play’, ‘Quit’, ‘Go’, ‘Stop’, Load’ etc.).

    Social skills
    video game provided an interest that was popular with other children makes talking and playing together so much easier. At school there are always other children who share a passion for video game play.

    Brain-wave biofeedback

    New (as yet unpublished) research 23 suggests video games linked to brain-wave biofeedback may help children with attention deficit disorders. Biofeedback teaches patients to control normally involuntary body functions such as heart rate by providing real-time monitors of those responses. With the aid of a computer display, attention-deficit patients can learn to modulate brain waves associated with focusing. With enough training, changes become automatic and lead to improvements in grades, sociability, organizational skills


    There are also several case reports describing the use of video games for rehabilitation. In one application, an electronic game was used to improve arm control in a 13 year old boy with Erb’s palsy. 27 The authors concluded that the game format capitalized on the child’s motivation to succeed in the game and focused attention away from potential discomfort



    Horizon: How video games can change your brain


    The video game industry is a global phenomenon. There are more than 1.2 billion gamers across the planet, with sales projected soon to pass $100bn (£65bn) per year.

    The games frequently stand accused of causing violence and addiction. Yet three decades of research have failed to produce consensus among scientists.

    But other research groups have concluded factors such as family background, mental health or simply being male are more significant in determining levels of aggression.

    What is certain is that science has failed to find a causal link between video games and real-world acts of violence.

    But away from the controversy, a growing body of work is beginning to show these games in a different light.

    Some benefits:

    Motor skill

    Visual abilities

    Brain growth

    keeping sharp

    AND skills transferable to real world

    details at http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-34255492


    No psychological harm to children who play lots of video games, study says


    “Time spent playing video games may have positive effects on young children.” That was the headline on a March 2016 press release from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, promoting a new study co-authored by three members of its faculty.

    Its team of 13 researchers analyzed the video game-playing habits of more than 3,000 children, aged 6 to 11, across Europe back in 2010. They found that children who played at least five hours a week had fewer psychological problems than students who didn’t play video games as much, and were rated by their teachers as better students, both academically and in social adjustment.

    “It’s no longer that kids who play a lot video games are the isolated, techy, brainy kids. What we’re seeing here is that kids who play a lot of video games are socially integrated, they’re prosocial, they have good school functioning and we don’t see any association with adverse mental health outcomes.”

    “It’s the kids who don’t actively engage with their peers around gaming and other types of popular children’s leisure activities that are perhaps more at risk for developing problems,” Keyes added.

    Keyes says there’s never been much scientific evidence among large studies of children to support that video game-playing is harmful.

    It seems likely that at some point, video game-playing does become harmful. [Like I said, all things in 'moderation']


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    As Video Games Become Ubiquitous, So Do Hand Health Problems

    In gaming, a few seconds of uninterrupted rest or the simultaneous application of the entire contents of a first aid kit can heal most injuries. However, the ever-increasing numbers of gamers, their crossing of both age and gender boundaries, and the hours they put into their namesake activity can lead to some real world consequences to their health that can’t be cured with a bottled fairy.

    Recent surveys have shown that online gaming, including gaming on PCs and consoles, has grown in the past year to eight hours per week on average, independent of offline or handheld options. So much time spent on a single activity, even those as seemingly benign as "Farmville" or as active as "Modern Warfare 2", can have a serious effect on the only universal gaming interface, human hands.

    Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: What is it?
    The bane of Human Resources departments worldwide is a condition known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The carpal tunnel itself is an open space inside the wrist surrounded by bone and ligament through which the median nerve runs. The median nerve branches off from the shoulder down the length of each arm and partially controls the motions and sensations of the thumb and fingers.

    “Most people initially complain of numbness and tingling in their hands, usually in their ‘radial’ three digits: thumb, index finger and long finger,” reports Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Dana Tarandy of Woodstock, IL. “Sometimes it includes the ring finger due to dual innervation with another nerve called the ulnar nerve. Later on, they get severe pain, burning pain, muscle weakness and muscle wasting in a long standing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome case.”

    How does it happen?
    One of the leading causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the swelling of the surrounding tendons produced by repeated overuse or poor ergonomics of the wrist. This includes, but is not limited to, excessive mousing, Wii-mote use or a particularly tight or unconventional grip of a standard gaming controller that puts the wrist in an odd position for any length of time. “If you are gripping or holding your hand at an awkward angle, you should give your hands a break for ten minutes every hour to let that nerve relax,” recommends Dr. Tarandy.

    The condition can be managed in a number of ways from moderate to severe. “A carpal tunnel splint will increase the volume of the carpal tunnel by holding the wrist in relaxed, neutral but a slightly ‘up’ position. Especially at night, a lot of times at night we tend to go to sleep and our hand bends or flexes downward, and that deceives the volume of the carpal tunnel, putting more pressure on the nerve.” Anti-inflammatory drugs or physical therapy can also be prescribed. Surgery to expand the space for the median nerve, known as “carpal tunnel release” surgery, as it severs the transverse carpal ligament but “heals in about two weeks, but you can use your hand right away, a highly successful surgery, a ten minute outpatient surgery with a full or nearly full recovery with almost all symptoms going away.”

    Other Possible Problems
    Gaming related bone and muscle ailments are not exclusive to the wrist. In just the past twenty years, the need for fast and accurate finger and, in particular, thumb movement has become essential for both social and virtual survival. The best example is the number of controller buttons under the purview of a single hand as grown from one in the dawn of the gaming age, to at least seven, in the current era and that’s not counting an analog stick.

    Button related actions are not limited to simple presses either. Critical gameplay maneuvers often require long-term pressure to be applied to one button, e.g. as a stand in for an accelerator pedal; the rapid movement from one button to another in short sequence in rhythm games or quick time events; or the sustained, rapid hammering onto a single button to survive a cutscene or hide a loading screen. All of these situations result in repeated and stressed action on the joints of the fingers, a contributing (though not solely causative) factor toward the development of Osteoarthritis in the hands.

    Osteoarthritis is the blanket term used to cover the process where the breakdown of cartilage between joints causes further damage and complications to movement. When bones begin to wear against each other they start to heal abnormally, creating bone spurs and other painful complications. A related arthritic condition concerning the overuse of fingers is known as Trigger Finger. “A nodule develops in the tendon that gets caught under a ligament,” explains Tarandy, “when you flex it down it gets trapped under a ligament and when you try to extend it, its basically stuck and then you have to manually pull it back.” It can also be corrected by splinting or surgery.

    Overall prevention of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and various arthritic conditions is part of a laundry list of general wellness information consisting mainly of the moderation of any potentially harmful activity (including gaming sessions), getting regular exercise and eating well. Any concerns or attempts at treatment should first be cleared with your physician.



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