Model Shows What Hardcore Gamers Might Look Like In 20 Years

An unsettling model has been created to supposedly show what the future looks like for hardcore gamers, and it has been causing quite a stir across social media.

Videogames have long been a source a source of controversy for some.

Unsplash | Ryan Quintal

We've all been exposed to such stories, where a group or individual makes such sweeping claims as "videogames are turning the youth into killers!" or something along those lines.

Videogames can be an easy scapegoat for reactionary political figures and social leaders; however, we're not here to be talking about that. We're here to talk about, Michael...

Meet Michael!

Michael is the ludicrous brainchild of researchers over at OnlineCasino, who have created what they believe to be "a visual representation of the future gamer."

The researchers behind Michael's creation have used information from sources such as the World Health Organisation and the NHS in his creation.

According to OnlineCasino, Michael is "the future gamer of 2040."

Onlinecasino's researchers seem to have largely been attempting to highlight the ramifications of the "issue" of "Gaming Disorder".

Gaming Disorder has now be recognized by the World Health Oragnisation as "pattern of gaming behavior (“digital-gaming” or “video-gaming”) characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences."

It should also be highlighted, however, that some industry experts remain skeptical about the existence of Gaming Disorder.

Michael is supposed to "predicted how avid gamers could look in the next 20 years."

Should hardcore gamers' game-obsessed lifestyle remain the same over the next 20 years, OnlineCasino's researchers predict that this is what they will look like.

OnlineCasino's website goes into more detail about each part of Michael's physiology, writing, "We conducted in-depth research into every physical impact on the body and health of a human being from spending too much time indoors and online. And here is what we found out..."

So, let's have a look at what they predict in more detail. And please, have a freighter-load of salt to take with these assumptions.

Let's start with the head and neck.

The researchers hypothesize that gamers' eyes will take a bit of a hammering over the 20 years, with them supposedly developing dark rings under their eyes, and bloodshot eyes. There has already been plenty of research done into the impact that constantly looking at screens can have on a person's eyes, so it is not surprising that they would arrive at this notion.

Michael also boasts an indent at the top of his skull from, "overuse of headsets during gameplay over twenty years could cause deformation." Which kind of makes me wonder how heavy these researchers think headphones are?

They also predict hair loss, due to lack of vitamin D; however, they also suggest that gamers will develop hairy ears due to "poor air quality and a lack of circulation".

Gamers' torsos are also predicted to take a beating.

Obesity, due to lack of exercise and sugary drinks, and Eczema, due to "stress and dry air", are just some of the joys that Michael's body plays host to.

The main bodily ailment that the website warns of is, "Hunchback & Rounded Shoulders", due to, "elongated periods of time sitting in uncomfortable positions without stretching or counteracting with regular exercise."

Finally, Michael's body is predicted to suffer heavily from "muscular stiffness", as the website writes, "Staying tense in these uncomfortable positions for extended periods of time will also cause pain in your shoulders. Excessive gaming and sleep deprivation adding to raised and tense shoulders which over time develop into a repetitive strain injury."

In fairness, sitting in uncomfortable positions hunched over a desk for a long period of time can badly impact your spine. However, that is hardly groundbreaking news to anyone I would imagine.

Michael's hands also play host to a plethora of injuries and ailments.

"Playstation Thumb & Blistered Fingertips" is the main issue Michale's hands face, which is described as, "a nail disorder caused by repetitive trauma such as tapping fingernails on a keyboard or controller causes the fingernail to loosen from its nail bed."

Michael also suffers from a type of repetitive strain injury called, "Nintendo Arthritis," as well as "Gamers Thumb". Gamers Thumb can cause inflammation and pain when you try to extend your fingers.

Finally, Michael has yet another repetitive strain injury called "Carpal Tunnel Syndrome", which "is a condition caused by repetitive motion and overuse of a computer mouse and keyboard".

Finally, lets look at Michael's lower body.

Poor Michael's lower body's main problem it faces is Varicose Veins, due to being sat in the same pace over extended periods of time. The lack of movement also leads to Michael's swollen ankles, which the website explains, "when inactive for increasing amounts of time muscles cannot pump fluid back towards the heart, so fluid and blood retains around the ankles causing swelling and discomfort."

Unsurprisingly, OnlineCasino's Frankensteinian-Gamer creation has not gone down well.

The notion that this could be gamers in 20 years has been widely panned across social media.

Twitter | @Sparrargh

Much like the irate Twitter user above, I am also living proof that this idea that OnineCasino is tying to pedal is complete balderdash. My years of gaming have not rendered me a Michael-esque shuffling husk. Sure, there are obvious dangers to obsessive behaviors, and gaming can occasionally lead to repetitive strain injuries and other ailments; however, Michael's cavalcade of misery ahs not been received well by gamers and general social media users, with people responding as such:

"Apparently this is what gamers will look like in 20 years... Like where Tf is he gaming at? Chernobyl?"

"This is really how people think gamers are gonna look in 20 years. This is such a mockery and it's so disrespectful. I'm appalled that someone really came up with this concept. So many gamers have active lives and keep themselves in shape."

"Ah, stereotyping of gamers is alive and well. My feeling is this is kept alive, not just by old people, but by some 'critical theory' folks in academia and journalism who seem to promote negative views of gaming culture."

How does Michael make you feel?

I, personally, am tired of this well-worn trope of demonizing videogame culture. Videogames are a great way to blow off steam, and can often tell amazing stories. Sure, there is the potential for people to grow obsessive of videogames, as people can with anything; however, I for one place no stock in this hyperbolic representation from OnlineCasino, do you?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

h/t: Buzzfeed