Can Video Games Cause Seizures?

With today’s high definition games, people want to know if video games cause seizures.

Video games have a bad reputation with the health and behavior of young adults.

Based on various studies, gaming has many positive and negative effects.

Gaming helps people to be creative, gain problem-solving skills and many other benefits.

There are also many health issues that occur because of excessive game playing.

Some health problems associated with gaming include vision problems, muscle strains, headaches, and seizures.

One thing that we know is that gaming affects the way the brain works and grows.

Whether the effects are good or bad, a player’s brain is likely to change once he or she plays games.

For example, gaming can trigger seizures in people sensitive to a contrasting color pattern and bright colors.

What are seizures?

One negative effect of gaming is that it can cause seizures.

We can describe seizures as a burst of unusual electrical action inside the brain.

Seizures can start anywhere on the brain and can cause the person to react in different ways.

People who are having a seizure may turn their heads and eyes to one side.

Depending on the seizure, if it affects the right side of the brain, the left side of the body feels the impact.

For example, if a person is holding a video game controller with their left hand, during a seizure they might drop the controller and lose conscious.

Studies show that gaming and watching TV for a long time can trigger seizures.

Some seizures are indirect in that they can go unnoticed by an individual who is experiencing them.

If they go unnoticed, the after-effects are difficulties with the memory, focusing, sleeping, learning, and mood-swings.

What are the causes of seizures?

What causes seizures may differ from one person to the other.

However, some main causes of seizures are:

  • Specific colors such as blue and red
  • Flashing of white light followed by darkness
  • Flashing light
  • Contrasting and bright patterns such as white against a black background
  • Stimulating images taking up the complete field of vision

There is no cure for seizures.

However, there are some drugs that are used to reduce seizure frequencies.

Who is Affected by Seizures?

Seizures is a disorder that can start at any age.

However, over 50% of all cases happen to children below the age of ten.

Studies also show that boys are more likely to develop seizures than girls.

This is because boys are more active than girls.

For many cases, the condition might not be serious and can be controlled.

However, there are some cases that can present a lifelong problem.

Around 30 percent of children who experience seizures may continue to be affected by the condition even after receiving treatments.

This means there are some instances where seizures are difficult to treat.

How can video games cause seizures?

There are some people who are very sensitive to images that contain lights, contrasting color patterns, and flashing lights.

Because of this condition, their brains experience seizures when exposed to such elements.

Photosensitive Epilepsy or video game seizures are medical terminology.

The condition affects many people directly or indirectly.

It is also common in children and teenagers, especially those who are exposed to TV or video games for a long time.

Some people can live for a long time without knowing they are suffering from seizures.

This is why video games cause seizures and people don’t know the reason.

Avoid Games with Flashing Objects

Since video games contain contrasting color patterns and flashing lights, they can cause seizures.

However, we do not have enough evidence that shows excessive gaming can lead to severe seizures.

However, there is a link between video games and photosensitive epilepsy.

The theory on how images found in games can cause seizures is not fully understood.

Researchers believe that the lights can cause major nerve cells inside the brain to fire or explode instead of firing individually.

But the duration of the game, the speed, and the images of video games play an important part when talking about seizures.

Playing a game that has many flashing lights or images for a long time can trigger seizures.

How to avoid seizures while playing video games?

There are several strategies on how someone can avoid or prevent seizures while watching TV or playing a game.

Monitor Symptoms

Check if alertness, mood, energy levels, and behavior changes after playing games.

If unusual behavior persists after the exposure, seek medical attention. In most cases, it is difficult to notice if a child has these symptoms.

Therefore, the best way to prevent seizures while playing video games is to ensure that your kids do not spend a lot of time gaming.


If you notice that playing a particular game regularly causes symptoms of seizures, don’t let your kid play those games.

Video games can cause seizures if we neglect or forget about the negative results.

Even though it is much easier to say than to do, abstaining from such games can help prevent future seizures.

Use of Drugs

There are some drugs that can reduce seizures.

Even though this should be the last option, medications can decrease symptoms of seizures and let your children enjoy their favorite games.

However, drug treatment is not enough for seizure protection.

In addition, some drugs can have unwelcome side effects on the child.

Check Safety Compliance

Most visual materials such as video games and movies can be examined for colors, flashes, and patterns.

Verify that they have compiled all images with safety guidelines.

The guidelines are to reduce the chances of causing seizures.

Some video games will warn players at the beginning of the game that it might cause seizures.

In some countries, such as Japan and the UK, game developers and TV broadcasters need to make sure the material they broadcast complies with these rules.

Wear Protective Lenses

Once you notice that your kid has symptoms of seizures, you can buy them protective lenses.

Special lenses are recommended by health specialists for people with seizures symptoms.

They are useful because they block or reduce the effects of flashing lights and patterns.

Reduce Exposure

There are some recommendations that can help to lower the risk of seizures while playing video games.

Some of them include:

  • Playing in a well-lit room
  • Taking regular breaks
  • Sitting at a distance from the screen
  • Using a small screen to make the images less intense
  • Avoid playing video games when tired or when you want to sleep.
  • Keep the brightness of the screen at minimal levels.
  • Turn off the game if you are not feeling well.


Extreme graphics or visuals in video games can cause seizures.

Avoid games that have too much light effects or intense flashing scenes.

Use video game glasses to reduce eyestrain and protect from TV or monitor glare.

At the moment, seizures are incurable.

However, the above strategies can help prevent or reduce seizure symptoms.

If your family has a history of epilepsy, it is important to ensure that your kids avoid playing video games for long sessions.

Last Updated on August 22, 2020 by Tony

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