Rickets Returns – Gaming Blamed


It seems that incidences of rickets are on the rise, and with many sitting indoors over the long winter, the popularity of videogames is being blamed.

Just sitting around playing Halo and then BAM! Rickets!

TechRadar is carrying word from the British Medical Journal of a rise in the number of cases of rickets being recorded, pointing a solemn finger at videogames for the fact that they encourage a sedentary, indoor lifestyle, conducive to illnesses like rickets. It’s an interesting argument, to be sure, but it’s also one that’s just a little misleading.

The fact is that videogames, in instances like this, aren’t really very much worse than television of internet use, in that all of the above encourage the person consuming the media in question to sit indoors, relatively still, out of the sun. Of course, it’s long been the fairly-fashionable thing to do to blame videogames for… well just about anything to which blame can be ascribed.

It’s a curious situation, but one that was perhaps best described by CVG’s Tim Ingham when TechRadar inquired as to what he made of the report, when he responded,

“It sounds like rubbish to me; I’ve put myself through some pretty heavy gaming sessions and the worst I’ve been left with is some aching thumbs and a regretfully empty bag of Haribo.

That said, it’s good to take regular breaks from your PS3; go outside, smell a flower, talk to a girl, that sort of thing. It’ll give you a fresh perspective on life. Same applies to miserly, game-hating, ignorant hacks.”

Still, that kind of extreme response aside, we’d be curious to see to what extent so-called “casual” gaming is perceived by those behind the report to contribute to the whole issue. While those “hardcore” gamers out there will likely spend more on their hobby than many casual players, the fact is that many more hardcore games don’t lend themselves to long-term play (tell this to me after an hour of Wipeout, when, nerves fried, a pad falls from my hands).

By contrast, games like Farmville and Mafia Wars, the cream of the casual-crop, seem vast time-sinks. It’s a curious phenomenon, though one we’d imagine isn’t going to be getting its own study anytime soon…


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2 Responses to “Rickets Returns – Gaming Blamed”

  1. Sinan Says:

    love Tim’s comment’s. Helps buck the stereotype that all gamer’s are incredible geeks, when most of us, when we do game, prefer a well-lit environment, in a comfortable setting, with decent equipment [example – I have a Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard, which is brilliant for gaming, along with also having a decent sound system/headphones, mouse and monitor ;)]

    Of course there are times where it calls for you to be in a dark room, with alllights turned out, surround sound on full, and a massive bowl of sweets. And that’s when you first get a “survival horror” game [much like Dead Space a couple a years back for me – lights off, 12 midnight, headphones on, every outside communication device off, frankly ridiculous bowl of sweets :P]

    • komplettie Says:

      Exactly… I’m not sure gaming marathons are quite the stuff of legend they’re often made out to be. Certainly I’m not up to more than a couple of hours at a stretch myself 😉

      Maybe I’m getting old.

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