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How Professional Gamers Can Combat Health Concerns

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Pro gaming has come a long way since Dennis “Thresh” Fong emerged as the first professional gamer in the mid-1990s. 

If you go pro today, you can expect to sign onto an Esports team and compete in front of thousands of fans for massive cash prizes. Even colleges now offer Esports scholarships, as Twitch has brought competitive gaming from niche to the mainstream. 

However, gaming poses some unique health hazards. Pro gamer Faze ZooMaa had to retire due to a thumb injury, and China’s most famous eSports competitor, Uzi, also had to step away from LoL due to a gaming disorder that caused him to develop type 2 diabetes. 

Of course, early retirements happen in all sports. But, as a pro gamer, you need to be hyper-aware of the major health risks associated with gaming and how to combat health concerns. 

Mindfulness

As a pro gamer, you probably spend thousands of hours every year in online lobbies and arenas. Unfortunately, these virtual spaces aren’t made to be relaxing or meditative. They’re more like an online version of Las Vegas, as unlocking Battle Passes and leveling up are usually accompanied by loud noises and bright lights. 

Spending so much time in a loud and bright virtual space can cause you to have an excessively “busy” mind — even when you’re not playing. This kind of overstimulation can cause your mental health to spiral and even lead to burnout. 

To avoid this, consider starting a daily mindful walking practice. Mindful walking can lower your stress levels, boost your creativity, and may even help with conditions like insomnia, anxiety, and depression. 

To take a mindful stroll, leave things like your phone at home and try to stick to safe, well-maintained paths in parks or neighborhood streets. There’s no “right” way to walk mindfully, but try to focus on your senses as you walk — what do you see, feel, smell, or hear? If you’re struggling to focus on mindfulness while walking, consider using an app like Insight Timer or Calm that includes guided walking meditations.

Practicing mindful walking is also a good way to calm your mind before or after a tournament. Taking in the fresh air can help you think more clearly, and spending time away from blue screens is great for your eye health. Just be sure to choose a safe path, so you can focus more on centering yourself rather than dodging potholes. 

Blue Light Glasses

As a pro gamer, you’ve probably been told that gaming too much will give you square eyes and bad vision. While square eyes fall firmly in the category of “Old Wives’ Tales”, spending excessive amounts of time looking at screens can cause computer vision syndrome. 

Computer vision syndrome is a type of eye strain that causes eye fatigue, dry eyes, and headaches. It’s particularly common in gamers because gaming requires you to sit close to your monitor and in front of blue-light emitting screens for lengthy periods. 

Blue light glasses are currently in vogue amongst white-collar workers who spend their entire workdays staring at screens. Proponents claim that blue light glasses can cut down on glare and help the body stay calm while being exposed to an artificial blue light source. In reality, evidence for blue light glasses is mixed, and habitual changes are probably more effective. 

Between games, try to stand up and spend time looking around your room instead of your screen. You can even turn your monitor off while waiting in pre-game lobbies (provided you aren’t the party host). You should also try to practice more in the late morning and afternoon, rather than at night as artificial blue light interrupts your sleep and may make it hard to drift off. 

If you’re really struggling with eye strain, then you should see a doctor or specialist optician. Seeing the right healthcare provider can make a massive difference to your eye health, and help you alleviate symptoms like dry eyes and insomnia. 

Physical Therapy

Almost all professional athletes have a strong bond with their doctors and physical therapists. Whether you’re hooping or rock climbing, sports take a toll on the body and can result in anything from arthritis to muscular imbalances. Pro gaming is no different — even if you’re not running, swimming, or jumping, you’re still repeating the same movements over and over. 

A good physical therapist should be aware of the musculoskeletal perils of gaming, as the physical strain of gaming is three times more intense than comparable activities like office work and playing music. 

While a physical therapist can’t improve your drop shot or map awareness, they can assess the ergonomics of your setup and recommend exercises and stretches that counteract the strain of sitting for lengthy periods. These changes won’t necessarily improve your gameplay, but they will help improve your longevity as a gamer.

Conclusion 

Professional gaming places great strain on your mental and physical health. However, you can prevent most injuries and conditions from developing by taking a proactive approach to your health. In particular, consider hiring the services of a physical therapist who understands gaming and engage in regular mindfulness exercises to help improve your focus in-game and IRL.

Gaming

Google engineers successfully hacked the PS Portal to run emulated PSP games

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After about a month of work, a couple of Google employees have successfully hacked the PS Portal, PlayStation’s handheld streaming solution. Their project is not set for public release anytime soon, but the hack is purely software-based, eliminating the need for hardware exploitation.

Andy Nguyen, a cloud vulnerability researcher, and Calle Svensson, a security engineer, shared their latest project on Twitter. They successfully ran the PSP emulator PPSSPP on the PS Portal. They presented the 2005 PSP classic Grand Theft Auto: Liberty Stories.

https://x.com/theflow0/status/1759627938910089575?s=20

As a wireless streaming device, the idea of playing games on the PS Portal without a PS5 providing the power was considered impossible. It’s quite surprising how quickly Nguyen and Svensson have overcome this initial hurdle. It remains to be seen where their efforts will take them, but we will definitely keep an eye on their progress. Nguyen expressed that there is still a lot of work left to do.

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Lady Gaga reveals collaboration with Fortnite for upcoming festival and addresses typo

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Lady Gaga, also known as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, has teased an upcoming collaboration with Fortnite Festival set to be unveiled soon. More pertinent to our specific attention to detail, Gaga has also admitted to a mistake made around four years ago, indicating her keen awareness of the franchise’s significant value.

Gaga shared a mesmerizing picture of her character in Fortnite and also retweeted a post from 2019 where she asked her fans, “What’s fortnight?”. She finally got the chance to correctly spell the title of the game, allowing us to breathe a sigh of relief after waiting anxiously.

Lady Gaga will be teaming up with other top celebrities to maximize their presence on the Fortnite platform. Travis Scott once hosted a live concert in Battle Royale a couple of years ago, while the Weeknd just premiered the music video for the song “Popular” at the Fortnite Festival.

https://x.com/ladygaga/status/1759986415415459972?s=20

 

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Reflecting on Street Fighter 5’s tumultuous launch, Capcom looks back eight years later

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For those who may not recall, nearly eight years ago today, Street Fighter 5 was released in 2016 in a rather incomplete state. The content available was impressive initially, but the limited number of characters and lack of single-player game modes stood out. Capcom expresses regret for the entire situation, offering apologies years later for having “betrayed” players’ expectations.

On SF5’s eighth anniversary, the developers must be feeling nostalgic. They recently posted a Japanese-language tweet looking back on the mistakes made and the challenges that were eventually overcome. The number of playable characters has grown to 45, and the game has seen various enhancements, including the introduction of new abilities such as V Skills/Trigger II and V Shift. Even now, hundreds of thousands of players still choose to play this game instead of the newer Street Fighter 6.
Have you had the chance to try out Street Fighter 5 since it was first released? What do you recall about the game’s reception? Take a trip down memory lane in the comments section below.

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