Cap required on time spent computer gaming – Healy Eames

Coroner’s report on 20 yo death

Galway Fine Gael Senator Fidelma Healy Eames has called on manufacturers of gaming consoles such as Xbox and Playstation, to incorporate a maximum usage time in the interests of health. She made the call following a coroner’s report of a 20 year old UK citizen who died from Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) as a result of excessive use of the Xbox.

The 20 year old, who was otherwise of good health, developed a blood clot in his lungs after spending 12 hour sessions playing the Xbox.

“It is only now that research on the addictive nature of these gaming consoles is beginning to emerge. What we need is quick action; and I believe it is not unreasonable to demand some class of a microchip to be installed that shuts the game down after two hours, and that it cannot be restarted for another period of time.

“We are soon to be putting images on cigarette boxes to prevent smoking because of the impact on health and its addictive quality. This is not far behind in respect of lasting damage.

“Apart from the health point of view, thousands of our children, teens and even young married men are spending endless hours on these machines. Just ask parents how difficult it is. Prolonged periods of usage is negatively impacting on education outcomes as well as emotional and mental health.

This call is not about one death, which is reason enough in itself. Its about the impact the gaming industry without reasonable controls can have on young people’s minds and the quality of their lives.

“I will be writing to the National Consumer Agency asking them to communicate with manufacturers to see what steps they will take to ensure responsible, healthy usage.