Many of us are familiar with the term “Ludonarrative Dissonance“, a concept coined by Clint Hocking of LucasArts to describe the conflict that can be found in video games in which the narrative or storyline of a video game does not match the actual game play within. In relation to this concept we here at Health eSports are identifying an ever growing “Ludosalus Dissonance”, in which there is an extreme lack of balance between the health of our avatars in game play and the health of our actual selves.
Esports and video games in general provide us with great enjoyment, social interaction, creative thinking skills and many other benefits to our daily lives. With that said, its hard to argue that there aren’t a number of significant health issues that coincide with long bouts at the computer (3+ hours per day), such as deep vein thrombosis, computer vision syndrome, and carpal tunnel syndrome, to name a few. The problem is that like in any other sport, in order to be a serious eSports athelete or gamer you have to put in long hours of practice. Whether you are playing Call of Duty, FIFA, Overwatch, DOTA 2, or League of Legends, if you want to build a great avatar, team, or campaign, you need to spend some considerable time learning and increasing your skills. This is rewarding and stimulating, but in general requires long hours at the computer, and therein lies the Ludosalus Dissonance (ludosalus being a compound of ludology and the latin word salus for “good health”).
The usual response to Ludosalus Dissonance is to encourage people to “take breaks”, and includes the use of things like timers or really angry parents/girlfriends/boyfriends/spouses. Unfortunately, I think we all know that those external types of controls are only so effective. Given the demands of leveling up, completing a campaign, or just having way too much fun, those admonishments eventually lose their criticality in terms of setting the controller down and doing some push-ups. The only way to really get people moving will be for either game makers or hardware developers to install time outs or incentives of their own for having a player take a break. These are inventive people and we bet they can think of some pretty cool ways to encourage player health. After all, if they want people to continue to buy and play their games, then they need to keep them healthy enough to do so.
VR certainly holds some promise in increasing the amount of physicality in game play and we’ve seen what the likes of Pokemon Go can do in getting people outside and moving. In between those lines we need to get creative on how we can encourage eSports athletes and gamers to watch their own health levels as much as they do their avatars. Let’s hear from you eSports and gaming enthusiasts, what are some ways we can decrease Ludosalus Dissonance?
It’s kind of like the zen koan that asks, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” If without us games are lifeless then obviously they need a bit of our life to exist. It’s probably why so many of us are willing to invest so much time in eSporting, its nice to be needed.
Found this gem of a quote when reading an article in Edge magazine based on the book “Death by Video Game”:
“Glory, justice, immortality; a chance to live over and over again in order to perfect our path, a place in which change and growth in us are measured on the irrefutable high-score table. Video games offer all of this and more. The allures of the video game, and the ways in which it salves our internal problems and instincts, are myriad. Is it so curious that a person might become forever lost in this rift between the real and the unreal?”
Without a resounding doubt that is why we are obsessed! I can remember playing RPGs for hours on end in a dark garage and having a hard time navigating reality a bit afterwards, today’s games are probably a thousand times more immersive and engaging.
This post really isn’t meant to convey a bunch of doom and gloom, but I think it does get at an important aspect of “full immersion” into the mind. The body will waste if you don’t feed it with movement as well of course. You would think our whole being would work in concert with each other’s health needs, but our minds can be as greedy as our bellies. And so like a bag of chips sometimes we have to set the controller down and escape in a different way.
I’ve embedded the google book snippet of the longer story on the next page which chronicles the death of a Taiwanese gamer. Many of you have probably heard of it. Outside of the spectacle I think it has some good notions of what can suck us in beyond the awesome visuals.
No longer pigeonholed as simply “disabled” or “handicapped”, we are finally coming into a time where humans with different anatomies, mind-sets, and abilities, whether due to disease, injury, or simply because they were born that way, are now being able to further push the cultural paradigm into seeing how unique circumstances create unique and amazing abilities. New technologies are enhancing and augmenting people’s ability to interface and interact with their world in ways that are transforming our perceptions of what it is to be normal and the beauties that lie within the differences.
On the floor, directly underneath my suspended haptic chair, was my Okagami Runaround omnidirectional treadmill. (“ No matter where you go, there you are” was the manufacturer’s slogan.) The treadmill was about two meters square and six centimeters thick. When it was activated, I could run at top speed in any direction and never reach the edge of the platform. If I changed direction, the treadmill would sense it, and its rolling surface would change direction to match me, always keeping my body near the center of its platform. This model was also equipped with built-in lifts and an amorphous surface, so that it could simulate walking up inclines and staircases.
Cline, Ernest (2011-08-16). Ready Player One (Kindle Locations 3429-3434). Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
For the majority of people, being a dedicated eSports athlete means a lot of time logged in a chair. Unfortunately, this makes eSports athletes very prone to deep vein thrombosis or DVT. DVT is no joke and for young eSports enthusiasts who log many hours a day in their chairs, even if they are very comfy chairs, can have serious health implications.
Obviously this tweet sent out by Boogie2988 is a sad reminder of the satisfaction some people seem to get out of hurting others.
On the flipside though, it’s a beautiful commentary on the compassion of humans. Coming to aid Boogie2988 and the victimized fan were a legion of crusaders providing moral support and discussion on how to battle trolls. Overcoming the mental anguish that trolls can effect is its own game. Mental defense is as important to your health bar as anything else! I’m pretty sure that when a troll comes along, a good start is to yell “Avast ye trolls! Gods curse upon ye!”, and then completely ignore them. It can be a hard defense, but once mastered it can be very effective. Everything takes practice.
By the way, there were many comments about the role of the mods and where they should have stepped in. So for all you mods out there I think this article provides some good food for thought in protecting posters from Trolls: The Immortal Myths About Online Abuse
It happens to us all…someone or something catches us off guard and upsets us for some reason or another. Hidden behind our monitors and keyboards it is tough to understand the nuance of the situation or we have simply not found a way to appreciate the person on the other end. Sometimes what follows is vitriol, regret, and depending on how badly we flame or seek vengeance, even mental and physical harm. These episodes occur not only with random people, but often with those we consider friends and family.
I saw this post go by and went to investigate, and what I found was a pretty thorough walk through on how grudges can begin and how a gamer can become a Keyboard Warrior before they know it. There are times to be heard, but there are also times to be cool.
Trying to establish the evidence base for what has been posted by the eSports and gaming experts to see what ground has been covered. It looks as though a few years back that Game Informer had a full blown Gamer Health Week!
This commenter didn’t seem to believe the hype though:
what a stupid news post gi.you were all mad at someone for making a health report just like this.and i cant even understand why sleeping on a comfortable couch would be harmful.i played fallout 3 till 2 in the morning and i feel FI….
They do seem a little aggressive though…maybe some more sleep in a comfy bed will help.
This site is dedicated to the eSports champions and champions to be who are out there competing, entertaining, and engaging fans across the world. The world of eSports are made up of athletes that cross cultures, age, gender, income, physicality, and intelligence, and makes for some of the most exciting sports match ups out there! There is one thread that connects them all though and that is the fact that they are athletes of the highest caliber who train, exercise, and dedicate themselves like all sports champions.