Friday, December 13, 2013

Thrombosis and Childhood Gaming

First things first, this fear going around in news reports about deep vain thrombosis, which The Huffington Post has lovingly dubbed it “Gamers Thrombosis.” Okay. This is on the rise for most people, not just gamers. Basically, it’s a blood clot, or series of clots, that form in the legs if you are sedentary for too long and can travel to your lungs. If you notice any swelling, it might be best to go to a doctor. The reason it’s being pointed out so heavily as of late is the Journal of Medical Case Reports discussed one issue occurring with a gamer, who played for 4 days, 8 hours a day, with outstretched legs, and rarely moved. When he noticed the swelling, he ignored it, and then it became a big deal. What to take away from this? Quit getting caught up in the fear-factor the media likes to present.

As more and more of us are moving from factory and standing jobs to sitting positions behind desks and computers, we are ALL at risk for developing deep vein thrombosis. It’s not just gamers. It’s everyone. And the tips to help prevent it, even potentially stopping it are simple: don’t sit for 8 hours straight. Stand up every 2-3 hours. Walk around. Hell, I know some gamers who will stand while they game and do squats to keep their blood circulating.

It’s as simple as that. We good now? Everyone knows it’s not a gamer problem and it’s a “society is moving to more sedentary life-styles so it’s an everyone problem?” Good. Moving on.

There was another Huffington Post article I wanted to get to. An opinion piece about video games and why parents shouldn’t fear it. And gasp! It’s from a mom with kids! 

Darn kids and their vija games when they could be playing outside and learning in school! Well, Sandra Shpilberg is of the opposite mindset. Her husband, and father of her kids, has worked in the gaming industry since 2005 and they own quite a lot of gaming gear. For them, video games are great for bonding experiences, creating family moments, developing social skills and morality, and a tool for finding out their children’s interests and talents.

It’s a good article to read, coming from a mother’s perspective about how games are helping her kids. And really, parents need to grow up. Video games are here to stay and your kids are going to be exposed to them. Yes, that Angry Birds game in your iPhone is a video game. That Solitaire you play on your PC during breaks at work is a video game. It’s unavoidable, so you may as well get with the program. There are a lot of positive things to take away from gaming. Go read the article and get use to it.


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