In this day and age, many people are trying to follow the career path of becoming a professional gamer. It is easier than ever before to find yourself in competitions that will allow you to put your name on the map, and hundreds of thousands of game lovers across the globe are taking advantage of this.
However, there is a side to becoming a professional gamer, a massive bump in the road if you will, that could derail your career before it even begins. Gaming fatigue is much like all other kinds of burnout, too much energy, focus and time put into one activity, can wear you down quickly, and take you out the game even quicker.
Considering there are so many things to focus on during one game, whether that be tactics, thinking ahead, and even practicing proper gaming etiquette so you don’t get disqualified, all these factors take a toll, and that’s just in a small period of time.
First off, what is gaming fatigue? There is a more common term used for it, which is burnout. The term “burnout” was first used back in the 70’s, to describe working professionals being so overworked that they become exhausted, lacking any and all motivation, and generally listless.
This applies across the board of professions, overworking with little to no breaks, and little to no sleep will lead to burnout. This applies to gaming as well. What sets gaming apart and actually makes it more difficult to notice, is that gaming is fun, you want to play for hours on end and spend most, if not all, of your free time glued to your screen.
Many of us may have even experienced this before, to a much lesser degree, but we all know the feeling of sitting there, with a headache coming on, eyes hurting because they’re tired, brain has turned to mush, these are real symptoms of burnout.
In the gaming world, burnout happens simply due to just wanting to do more, to grind that much more every single day. Obviously, practice makes perfect, and you won’t make it to the professional level without it, but there are limits.
We may be talking about gaming, but the symptoms of burnout are pretty similar across the board. If you are suffering from any of these, or feel like you may be getting close, it may be time to take a step back and reevaluate your situation.
Physical and mental exhaustion is the first sign of possible burnout. No matter what job you have, or what you are working towards, there will come a point where your body and brain just can’t cope anymore.
You will be constantly tired, headaches might become more and more frequent. You will also just start feeling weak, this will be down to being exhausted, but also because your eating patterns may have changed. You focus so much on the game that you forget to eat, you eat poorly, or you expect your body to function properly on random meals at random times.
Becoming completely disinterested in the game you are playing, or playing games in general, is another symptom. You basically start to hate and resent the thing that made you happy and excited before.
This applies across the board, you lose interest in your other hobbies, you don’t feel like hanging out with your friends, this loss of interest plays into the previous symptom of being mentally and physically exhausted, as well as being related to the next one.
Reduced performance is where you will really see burnout in action. You can’t complete simple plays, you struggle to work a strategy, and your general performance just goes downhill. This doesn’t mean you have all of a sudden become bad at the game, your body and mind just aren’t capable of performing at the level it once did.
Now that we have gone through what burnout is and what the symptoms are, now we can discuss how to prevent it and fix it if you find yourself on the edge of real gaming fatigue. Sleep, taking breaks, and eating properly will all help you.
Sleep is the biggest one. You need sleep to allow your body to recover and then perform at its best the next day, and sleeping at different times every day for different lengths of time is not going to help at all.
You need a proper sleep schedule, pick a time that you switch your computer or console off, and make sure you then get a full 8 hours of sleep. When you go to sleep is a personal choice, but getting 8 hours is the goal.
You must also keep your bed time constant, try to get into bed at the same time every night if you can, and wake up around the same time. Uninterrupted sleep is also important, getting up constantly isn’t going to help at all.
Diet is also a factor, considering you are playing for hours on end, you are most likely eating lots of food that is easy and quick to prepare, but isn’t necessarily healthy. The body and mind needs good food, and making the time to eat a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner is vital.
The last thing is taking breaks. Taking time away from the screen is necessary to stop yourself from, getting far too consumed from it. You should take breaks regularly, whether that’s to read a book, going for a walk, working out, taking the time to get some fresh air and to rest your brain and body is essential.
As you can see, falling into gaming fatigue is easier than you may have thought, but there are ways to stop it, and now that you know what gaming fatigue looks like, hopefully you are now able to take the necessary steps to stop it from happening to you.