Can Video Games Cause Seizures?
Video games have become increasingly popular as a form of entertainment and exercise over the years. While some may be concerned about the potential negative impacts of video gaming, one question that has been raised is whether they can cause seizures.
What Causes Seizures?
Seizures are caused by sudden, uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain. There are several potential triggers for seizures, including:
- Illness or injury – Seizures can be caused by certain conditions and injuries, including head trauma, infections, or genetic disorders.
- Medication – Certain medications, such as some antibiotics, can cause seizures as a side effect.
- Stress and fatigue – Seizures are more likely to occur when the body is under excessive stress or has been excessively tired.
- Certain activities – Certain activities, such as computer or video games, can trigger seizures in some people.
Video Games and Seizures
While playing video games does not generally cause seizures, certain aspects of them can trigger them for certain people. This is known as photosensitive epilepsy, and it is estimated that around three percent of people with epilepsy are affected by it.
People with photosensitive epilepsy can be affected by certain types of video games, especially those with rapidly changing colors or patterns. Additionally, playing a video game for a long period of time can cause fatigue, which can also increase the risk of a seizure occurring.
Seizures and Electronic Devices
The same effects of photosensitive epilepsy can apply to other electronic devices, such as TVs and computer monitors. However, while these devices may have more features that can cause seizures, video games specifically are designed to be interactive, which can make them even more likely to trigger a seizure.
Preventing Seizures While Playing Video Games
If you or someone you know experiences seizures or is photosensitive epilepsy, there are a few things that can be done to reduce the risk of a seizure occurring while playing video games:
- Ensure that video games are played in a well-lit room.
- Take breaks from video gaming every 30 minutes or so.
- Avoid playing games that feature rapidly-changing colors and patterns.
- Avoid playing games for too long at a time.
- Use the lowest brightness settings possible.
To conclude, while playing video games does not generally cause seizures, certain games and activities may trigger seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy. It is important to be aware of these potential risks, as well as the preventative measures that can be taken to minimize the chance of a seizure occurring.