Since its first introduction in the 1990s, online gaming has become arguably the biggest revolution in personal entertainment. From the days of the LAN party, where gamers would have to physically have multiple computers linked together in the same room, we can now play against friends and strangers on everything from our work PC to the phone in our pocket.
Insiderintelligence.com reports that by the end of 2022 over half of Americans – 179.6 million of us – will be playing online games monthly.
Online gaming has progressed far beyond the stage of battling orcs and goblins in a darkened bedroom and has become part of everyday life. Traditional favorite games amongst friends like poker have made effortless transitions from the kitchen table to the screen.
Variants such as Texas Hold’em have become popular online, with Poker.org explaining how millions of people around the world indulge in tournament play. Much of that action is online, as with the rules of the game being the same from Pittsburgh to Paris, players can compete whether they have a pair of kings or une paire de rois.
Poker isn’t the only popular game to have an online alternative; Scrabble has become Words With Friends and Pictionary’s paper and pencils have gone digital in Skribbl.io.
However, if gaming is exciting for the eyes, it can be erosive to the epidermis. It’s been well documented that blue light from screens can play havoc with our sleeping patterns – not good for the skin – while grime built up on keyboards and controllers can trigger skin irritation and acne.
Canadian dermatologist Mariusz Sapijaszko’s research found that HEV light emitted by screens can lead to abnormal facial pigmentation and a 2010 study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology showed hyperpigmentation manifesting from blue light in medium to dark complexions. While gaming can be engrossing, it’s vital not to let a conscious skincare regimen lapse.
While the effects of screen time are fairly similar whenever one is exposed, building up healthy habits can differ from day to night. When exposure to HEV light causes free radical cells to build up in the skin, weakening collagen, antioxidants make an effective first line of defense.
Having a bottle of green tea at your desk provides these cell protectors alongside vital hydration, although, at 30-50mg caffeine per 8oz, it’s perhaps not a solution for the evening. Wearing sunscreen to reduce the effects of UV light coming in from windows is good practice, as is making sure skin cream or serum contains Vitamin C.
If one has an expectation that a gaming tournament will carry on deep into the evening, take a few basic steps prior. Use a gentle cleanser to remove makeup before starting out – online poker players can be wowed by a cartoon avatar rather than a glam-up for a webcam.
Moisturize and use some eye cream to reduce blemishing and bagging in the morning. Heed the advice in our article, ‘The Ultimate Guide to Reading Product Labels’ and ensure products don’t have nasties like parabens and prioritize those which have antioxidants at the top of the ingredient list. Swap out the green tea for water and be mindful that going heavy on the alcohol usually leads to flushes being on the skin rather than on the poker table.
Consider downloading an app such as f.lux which will adapt your computer, tablet, or cellphone’s light levels to your surroundings, helping avoid eye strain and resultant bags or wrinkles.
There’s a common and unflattering stereotype of the ‘computer nerd’. Much of the time they’re portrayed as having pasty, sallow skin. Like many stereotypes, while there may once have been a tiny grain of truth to them, that time has long passed.
As noted, over half of the US is gaming online, and indeed, at an estimated 3.24bn people playing worldwide, almost half the globe is joining in too. Help keep making that cliché a busted flush by going all-in on your