I was reading more about the death surrounding the gamer, Chris Staniforth, who died of a blod clot. Above all else, this is very sad. With that said, it’s frustrating because it’s totally preventable. Medical professionals are now coming out and saying that those individuals who play these games need to take regular breaks to move around and exercise their bodies.
We know this issue extends far beyond just an extreme case like this. Excessive gaming, especially violent games, has shown major physiological changes on the brain, as well as a host of other public health issues.
Our hope is that a terrible case like this, sheds more light on an important, yet largely unknown issues associated with video game play. Clearly, the video game industry doesn’t aim for outcomes like this. But as parents, teachers, physicians, and other citizens engaged in society, we should hold every industry to similar scrutiny.
While it’s easy to throw stones at things that have a more direct correlation to adverse outcomes, like alcohol or tabacco, stories like this raise sometimes more challenging questions. Should there be regulations or warnings? Would that even have impact on those gamers that seem to show signs of addiction? Does the government have any role in regulation of these games, or, as the Supreme Court ruled, is this artistic expression.
What’s clear is that the days of Pong and Mario Brothers are long behind us. We would be interested to hear your thoughts on how you process through these issues when Constitutional rights run into public health and safety issues.