Getty Images / Jason Koerner

A new study predicting what gamers of the future might look like is exciting tabloids and infuriating gamers right now.

The disturbing images published by OnlineCasino.ca illustrate what “avid gamers” could look like in 20 years if they continue behavior associated with gaming addiction. But as you might have guessed by the name, OnlineCasino.ca’s research methodology isn’t exactly airtight. 

Their “findings” take into account the very real side effects of gaming addiction, including sleep deprivation and dehydration, lack of vitamin D, digital eye strain, and ‘PlayStation thumb’ — and then extrapolate them into a bizarre Wallace and Gromit-style character from the future named Micheal.

With huge sections of society turning to gaming for relief during the coronavirus pandemic, tabloids and websites have seized on the frightening symbol of “Michael, the future gamer of 2040.”

“Avid gamers” were understandably put out by the future gamer model, with many calling the legitimacy of the study into question. However, for all its shortcomings, the Online Casino study does offer some helpful tips for those planning to game their way through quarantine — don’t forget to exercise regularly, avoid glare from your screen by evenly lighting the room, stay hydrated, sit up straight in a decent chair, and eat healthily.

Weekend Staff Writer

Isabelle is an Australian writer based in Berlin.