I can't help feeling a bit maternal about those on my buddy list.. I care about you! I also can't help but notice that some of you are playing Borderlands 2
- all the time, - probably too much. I wonder if you're practicing safe gaming.
It seems it's not uncommon for gamers to be hospitalized
because of gaming marathons, or for people to actually die
from gaming marathons... but there are reasons for gaming marathons - like Borderlands 2
, or a double XP weekend, or Borderlands 2
DLC, or Dishonored
,or Borderlands 2
(did I mention Borderlands 2
?) - and gaming doesn't have to endanger your health with a few common sense tips.
1. The beer hat
Dehydration is a real thing. If you really can't take the time to drink a nice big glass of water while fast traveling in Borderlands, then get yourself a beer hat! You can drink and play at the same time. Drink water. Juice is full of sugar and will hype you up (and pack on the pounds) and colas, coffee and tea are diuretics that when consumed in large quantities will basically make you piss out much of the fluid you should be retaining. If you don't have the latest in beer hats, then make sure that you have a very large glass of water or a bike flask of water (which doesn't spill when you throw it on the couch next to you). Have a goal of finishing the entire amount within a 4 hour period.
2. Washroom breaks
One of the best things about drinking lots of water while you game is that it mostly forces you to get up and go to the bathroom at fairly regular periods. Unless you're seriously ill, don't do the Depends Adult Diaper thing - it's just really uncool, probably uncomfortable, and likely a bit smelly. On a washroom break, refocus your eyes, do a quick stretch - and park your Siren or Assassin near a safe place where you won't get killed by a Scrag!
3. Meal breaks
While eating Pizza pockets or drinking Ensure meal replacement milkshakes through your beer hat might seem like an attractive alternative to actually eating... don't do it! There are these things called "breakfast", "lunch" and "dinner" - if one of those mealtimes arrives, take 20 minutes to half an hour to actually leave the game and take a break. Make a meal, eat it... and don't look at your TV. Look out the window, read a book, check email on your phone - but do something where your eyes get a break by re-focusing at varying distances. Hell, watch your meal cook in the microwave if you have to, just make sure you look at something different for a short while and that you walk around a bit or stretch.
Sleep deprivation has been used as a form of torture. While you may think that you are super-human and can play for three days straight with no sleep, the reality is that your skills have likely decreased to those of a 9 year old girl... well, actually, it's probably a nine year old girl who is now carrying your ass in Borderlands and constantly rescuing you from Badass Blackhole Threshers. Don't let your game (and reputation) suffer because you're too stubborn to grab a much needed period of rest. When your eyes droop and you find yourself wiping drool from your mouth that you didn't know was there until the icky wetness ran down your chin and dribbled on your chest - take the time to put the controller down, exit the game, close your eyes - and sleep!
When you're battling Spitter Scrags and Chubby Varkids and you suddenly wonder what that odd odor is that you keep smelling, well, it's likely you. Getting those badass points or to that next level is no excuse for bad hygiene!
6. Appropriate clothing
Please wear appropriate clothing when you're gaming for long periods of time. Don't wear constrictive clothes (and yes, ladies, that means taking off the underwire push-up bra and putting on a supportive yoga top or sports bra... or going bra-less!). Joggers, pajamas, or naked - doesn't matter what you choose, just make sure you don't have anything cutting off circulation and strangling body parts while you're engrossed in your marathon. Myself... I'm a pajama person. No, I'm not talking Victoria's Secret sexy pajamas - I'm saying that yes, if you've played online with me, I was probably wearing floppy flannel pj bottoms with an elastic waist and a yoga top (for the boob support), with a hoodie or sweatshirt because I'm always cold. Now that you have that horrifying visual in your brain, it's time to look at what's on your feet (after a quick look at some "appropriate clothing"!).
... apparently naked gaming is a thing!
7. leg condoms!!
As a last note (and the most important note) - compression socks!! Compression socks aren't just for little old ladies with varicose veins anymore! There is a current trend for Olympic athletes and long distance runners to wear compression socks either during the event, or immediately after the event. Various studies have shown no drawbacks to the use of compression socks, and the positive benefits include reduced muscle fatigue, improved circulation and possibly better lactate clearance. Compression socks essentially work by adding compression or tightness at the ankle, which helps to prevent blood pooling, clotting, and it helps to improve circulation. More importantly compression socks feel great!! My doctor recommended compression socks for me on one of my earlier surgeries because I tend to be fairly sedentary during recovery and I'll be the first to say that they feel awesome! You can pick them up for around $10.00 to $20.00 at most any pharmacy and they are well worth every penny! I use them regularly for gaming because I'm often sitting in one position for extended periods of time. Yes, these leg condoms may initially feel odd, but you do get used to them, and they can be useful in helping to prevent blood clots or other circulatory problems for gamers who don't get up regularly and stretch!
Oh yeah... and as an extra bonus note - a door lock!
So, if you're going to be gaming naked, while wearing a beer hat and compression socks - you will want a lock on your door. It's not for you... it's for the sanity and safety of anyone who may inadvertently scar their mind by seeing you during your gaming marathon!
Safe gaming - it's really just common sense and leg condoms. In your eagerness to enjoy the pleasures of gaming, I just don't want to see any accidents happen - something that you often have to live with for a long, long time. Dehydration, blood clots and other health issues can generally be averted with a little common sense, so enjoy your gaming marathon, but game safely! Most of us already know this information... but how many of us practice it? I know I'm sometimes guilty of gaming for 4 hours or more without drinking, eating, stretching or looking after myself, so this blog is as much a reminder for myself as it is for anyone else reading it. Game safely!
... Oh... and when you're done with your gaming marathon and have killed Handsome Jack, take a day or two off and get off your butt and go outside.