More and more people are getting diagnosed with Epilepsy, yet there isn’t much awareness surrounding it – Especially when it comes to gaming!
- In the UK alone there are circa 600,000 living with Epilepsy
- Around 87 people are diagnosed on a daily basis.
- Approximately 1,000 people die every year with around half of these been related to a sudden unexpected death in Epilepsy (also known as SUDEP)
- Photosensitive Epilepsy affects roughly 3% which is seizures triggered by flashing and/or flickering lights
What is shocking is the fact that not many people are even remotely aware of the above or how serious Epilepsy can be. The effects it has on life alone, never mind the seizures can be extremely difficult to live with.
For many people with Epilepsy gaming is a big part of their life. Sadly this means that on a diagnosis that some gamers would have to put aside their past time for it never to be picked up again. For some, this would mean that they would have to be extremely cautious when gaming and for the lucky ones no effect at all. It might sound drastic but the reality is it only takes one seizure to put that individual in a really bad place which could potentially in end in an extremely unhappy ending.
I was diagnosed with Epilepsy around 16 years ago, gaming for me played a big part in my life. Fortunately for me, gaming did not directly cause any seizures. This actually helped me through diagnosis as I had to spend a lot of time around the house. I had some great friends and was a part of a great online community, gaming was definitely my escape at the time. This didn’t mean I didn’t have to make any changes and off the back of what I have experienced, I have 5 pieces of advice for those with Epilepsy who are able to game.
Deprivation of sleep is a major factor in seizures as your mind and body need this recovery time. Make sure that you get enough sleep and ensure you have a healthy sleep pattern.
Take regular breaks
When gaming make sure if you get eye strain or muscle strain, take a break and get some fresh air. Maybe schedule some stretching time during a stream or gaming session. No one will judge you for doing this on stream, maybe even get your viewers to join in!
Healthy Body and Mind
Take time out from gaming now and then, keeping your body and mind healthy are extremely important. You don’t have to go to the gym, just getting out walking and getting some fresh air will help you a lot. Gamers are known for having a ton of caffeine and sugar, cut this out where possible.
Using the right equipment
You need to be comfortable in all aspects, so the right equipment is key. A big one is having a monitor that isn’t broken, the flickering could cause seizures. Refresh rates have also been known to cause issues along with screen brightness. Get equipment that suits you! Get a comfortable chair, install air con if you have to! You and your machine shouldn’t be overheating.
Don’t be afraid to say no
When you get asked to do the long streams because your peers are or you feel like you need to do one because that’s what streamers are doing – Say no and explain why the gaming community is extremely understanding and supportive.
These little changes can have a big effect on your life when gaming so take that time to make gaming work for you and your Epilepsy. It will pay off in the long run and keep you gaming.
As a parting gift here is a great alternative energy drink for all those that have Epilepsy and can’t drink the popular gaming endurance products.
TC Shake Recipe
This is nice and simple, you just put all of the ingredients in a blender and enjoy!
- 500ml Coconut Water
- 4 Medjool Dates (Pitted)
- 2 Bananas (Add more bananas for a thicker shake)
The above is for a plain banana shake, you can add anything you want to this to enhance flavour or pack it full of the good stuff. You can add nut butter and cacao for a Peanut buttercup flavour or add some superfood powders for the extra nutrients.
Thanks for reading and stay safe when gaming!