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FPS video games and headaches...

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by NelsonNelson, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. NelsonNelson


    Sep 25, 2011
    This is a little lengthy but if you're a fellow FPS gamer...please read and reply:

    About a month ago, I read online a small study done about how individuals who played 10 hours a week...aka: very little time per week on violent FPS games (COD and BF type stuff) showed that their frontal lobes were being depleted of normal blood flow. After a week off them, normality resumed in their brain scans regarding blood flow to the frontal lobe. However, the doctor who did this study claimed it could cause relevant brain damage to those of us who have done giant gaming sessions.

    Well...I'm the guy who has spent 160+ hours the past few years on Bad Company 2 online...and now Battlefield 3. I can safely say I'm not mentally handicapped but was still intrigued to say the least...so I completely quit cold a month ago.

    So today I fired it up and decided to play for what was 30 minutes....a single death match game? And...I had a massive headache for a few hours afterwards. So I was just wondering if any gamers out there have ever experienced this or not?

    The part to the study that really grabbed my attention is the doctor said: "Many people who experience this blood flow limitation will experience greater mood swings, as in they'll get angrier easily and they will not be able to stay focused on a single task for very long. That was me in a nutshell recently....So I have been trying to get rid of those negative things about myself by trying out the no video game thing.

    No need to leave any silly comments about us gamers and our brains or something immature regarding the two. Please be serious.
  2. Demonjrx


    May 30, 2012
    United States
    I can say that without a doubt, playing video games for a long period of time does give me headaches. I'm not sure about Fps games specifically. As for mood swings, I'm not sure. I seem to be okay with that, as for some of my friends who play video games a lot I can definitely say they have some issues, of course these are the kind of people who don't have jobs and who only go to school part time. That's a whole different bag of worms. As for the no video game thing, for a while I did that towards the end of high school, and I can say that my grades improved, I was optimistic and that my guitar and bass playing improved considerably. (I mean I had to do something to fill the 20 or so hours a week that I had empty from quitting starcraft.) :) Do you mind me asking if you have a link to the article?
  3. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Banned

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    I play COD about 6 hours a week. I used to play about 30 a week until I stopped. I've never really experienced headaches per se, mostly what I perceive as some sort of over stimulation - fast action, guns and explosives going off constantly, the high definition of the HD on my 46" - all things that leaving me "buzzing". That is the best way I can describe it and not really a headache, but it does last for hours and prevents me from sleeping late at night, even though I'm tired.

    The only real anger I feel is when I get tubed or killed by a camper, which adds greatly to my stress levels, so when the game stops being fun, I've gotten better at stopping.
  4. I too have not had issues with headaches. I've had my moments where I don't play for months and I don't feel any different honestly.

    I think Demonjrx is on to something about some gamers having issues though. I believe most gamers who play for an extended amount of time are probably struggling with some things like too much free time on their hands due to no job or school (I've fallen into both categories). I think that may have something to do with the mood swings and I doubt it is exclusively tied to gaming. I'd say its just a byproduct of the free time.
  5. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead! Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I think it depends on the game, for me. The rapid movement of an FPS game and the amount of eye motion involved could make your brain go "blurgh" with too much time in them. An RPG or other game that doesn't require majorly fast motion doesn't seem to bother me too much. Perhaps just find another genre of games to try out?


    Jun 16, 2010
    Why FPS's in particular? I play BF3 about 5-10 hours a week but this is pretty far-fetched IMO.
  7. sharp8874


    Jan 10, 2011
    Weird. I haven't gotten a headache from playing just one match ever. I only get them if I play for like 4-5 plus hours straight, which isn't often. Not that's gamers are dumb or anything but one of my neighbors games pertty hard ( over 90 days on MW2, blackops, MW3) but he has had a gaming system pretty much since the PS1 came out and IMO he used to be a pretty smart person and had good common sense (when he was like 8-11 years old) but now (16) I don't think of him as being that smart any more and his common sense has decreased a lot IMO so there migtht be something to great extended periods of gaming
  8. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Headaches in fps very often come from a badly set field of view, with horizontal angles that don't match what the human eye typically sees.
  9. NelsonNelson


    Sep 25, 2011
  10. jarrydee


    Oct 22, 2011
    every time I play COD MW3 I get sea sick after only 20 minutes. When we got this xbox for the kids for xmas, I was playing cod with my son for the first time and all of a sudden thought I had the flue, I crawled into my bad and fell asleep, woke up feeling fine, took me about a week to figure out it was the game making me sick, I get nauseous and headache every time. I play on a HD 60in TV and it just makes me sick :bag:
  11. Etienned


    Jul 16, 2010
    I used to play doom and such a lot when I was younger.
    But once they started doing the character movement on one stick and head(vision) on the other, massive head aches were induced and I completely stopped playing.
  12. The 2001 article has had much critisism it would appear, unsubstanciated claims.

    This new article, as you say, seems to originate from a news outlet, not a source of scientific publication. Not that scientific publications are infallible, but they do hold a greater degree of weight than a general media publication.

    I don't get any more of a headache playing computer games (any) than I do looking at any screen from long periods of time. As someone who has played computer games fairly frequently since early teens, it certainly doesn't seem to have done me any damage.

    Either way, colour me skeptical.
  13. jarrydee


    Oct 22, 2011
    I know for a fact that I get sick right after I start playing, so I am proof that something wrong happens, I dont know about it making people stupid, but there is no doubt that it has an effect on the brain, or it would not make me sick and get headaches! I agree that as soon as they started making one stick for body and one for head is when this all started. i have read that the reason you get sick to your stomach and headaches is because you brain is feeling like it should be moving but you are not moving, so your brain thinks you were poisons or something of that sort and tells your body to throw up to get rid of the poison!
  14. The headaches, more often than not, are caused by strain to the muscles which control the eye. Often caused by people being too close to the screen for the size of it (especially I'd there is a lot of side to side).

    Heck, that's why IMax just leaves me with a belting headache.

    Regardless of personal experiences, those are some reasonably hefty claims to make without any sort of peer review. Not to mention the hospital website isn't great (no sign of any research group, or even the guy making a claim, simply a page saying the Psychiatric department exists)
  15. mkandolf


    Nov 21, 2007
    Saint Clair, MI
    I get headaches from the games sometimes. If I notice one coming on in time, I just shut down. I am subject to frequent migraines though so I shouldn't be playing the things anyhow. You just have to know if you have problems with them and know when to shut down.

    I've got three adult sons that I'm still trying to get them to know when to shut down. Anger issues with them when they run into games such as BF3 where there's a bunch of hacks going on. Just shut donw and go to another server and play, it's not that hard. They don't suffer from headaches (and they play much more than me) unless they're sitting in some ridiculous positions.
  16. Funky Ghost

    Funky Ghost Translucently Groovy

    The only time I've experienced headaches during ( because of ) a game was when I PvP.

    The adrenaline rush would hit me so hard at times I would get the shakes ( fight of flight response ), followed by a massive headache.

    I've had marathon sessions of Ghost Recon, ARMA2 and Raven Shield co-op with my military buddies and never once had the headaches.
  17. Demonjrx


    May 30, 2012
    United States
    Personally, I don't think video games cause things like that. It's just the whole "I don't have much going on in my life/life isn't what I wanted it to be." I feel the gaming is like you said a coincidence.
    Although sometimes I have seen it cause by gaming, one of my co workers failed out of college because he cared more about playing WoW and Diablo. Now he's 20,000 dollars in debt and on his second attempt at college.
  18. Funny I find this post...I just had a friend that I can relate this to.

    Last semester, he wound up failing out of school and taking the following semester off. He really isn't into the whole "living at home" idea and, obviously, had some self esteem issues that followed. He played computer games for entire days straight and was VERY subject to mood swings. I wouldn't say it was the game, although the game was a facilitator for his mood swings sometimes, I would connect it more to what others were saying - the fact that he had too much free time, no job, etc.

    Just another anecdote to add to the list.
  19. droo46


    Jun 16, 2011
    Too much staring a screen will often result in some form or another of fatigue or ache. Everyone reacts to these kinds of things differently. Some people can play for long periods of time with no side effects and others (like my mother) can't even watch the screen for 30 seconds. Her "favorite" was Mario Kart 64.
  20. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    I put in a good few hours on CoD:BO this weekend and then had a headache afterwards, but I cant say for certain the video game was the cause.
    It might have had more to do with a lack of proper sleep (it was the weekend after all) and dehydration.

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