as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, time spent on online gaming is expected to boom in 2020 with self-isolation, school cancellations, and kids spending more and more time indoors and online. we’ve already seen an hourly increase of 19% in the last year in time spent playing video games — so what impact will this have on the physical body?


michael is a lifelike visual representation of a future gamer in 2040. in an effort to raise awareness of ‘gaming disorder’, the sculpture depicts multiple chronic symptoms of an unhealthy lifestyle spent seated, away from sunlight and exercise.

meet michael: a lifelike representation of a future gamer in 2040
all images courtesy of



‘with [gaming disorder] being recognized as a worldwide issue, and gaming hours on the rise – just what impact does this have on our physical appearance and health?’ asks online casino, the company behind the project. ‘we conducted in-depth research into every physical impact on the body and health of a human being from spending too much time indoors and online.’


from sleep deprivation and dehydration, to a lack of vitamin D, digital eye strain and ‘playstation thumb’, michael shows the physical implications of spending excess amount of hours online. studies show that the average gamer spends six hours each week playing online video games which is an increase of 19.3% in the last year. severe game addicts even spend up to 18 hours a day online.

meet michael: a lifelike representation of a future gamer in 2040
michael’s face has dark circles, bloodshot eyes, and hairy ears.



‘gaming disorder’ is now recognized as an official psychological disorder by WHO (the world health organization). it is highly recommended that gamers should maintain a balanced lifestyle of healthy diet, good posture, and daily exercise to prevent michael’s extreme features. read more about some of the specific symptoms below.

meet michael: a lifelike representation of a future gamer in 2040
michael has a hunchback and round shoulders, muscular stiffness, obesity and eczema



bloodshot eyes aka digital eye strain: extended periods of time also causes computer vision syndrome or digital eye strain which presents itself as dry and bloodshot eyes. this causes irritation, redness, the inability to focus and double or blurred vision with the brightness, resolution, glare and quality of your screen affecting this.


indent in skull: consistent, light pressure built up over a number of years could cause an indent in the hair, skin and skull if stressed long enough. this means that overuse of headsets during gameplay over 20 years could cause deformation.

meet michael: a lifelike representation of a future gamer in 2040
michael’s hands have blistered fingertips, nintendo arthritis, and trigger fingers



playstation thumb and blistered fingertips: known as ‘playstation thumb’, onycholysis is a nail disorder caused by repetitive trauma such as tapping fingernails on a keyboard or controller causes the fingernail to loosen from its nail bed. these repetitive motions from game playing can also induce pain from muscle stiffness and blisters in the fingertips from overuse.


nintendo arthritis: nintendo arthritis aka ‘nintendinitis’ is a new type of repetitive strain injury that causes ulceration and calluses on the hands. if these are intertwined with key nerves as they develop they will not be able to be surgically removed.

meet michael: a lifelike representation of a future gamer in 2040
michael’s legs are pale, swollen and shows varicose veins



trigger finger: trigger finger, sometimes known as gamers thumb, is a term given when you put a strain on the tendons in your thumb or ring finger for long periods of time. this causes them to become so inflamed from gaming that you suffer pain, limited movement, and a locking sensation when trying to straighten or bend your finger.


first-person shooter: first-person shooter or carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition caused by repetitive motion and overuse of a computer mouse and keyboard. this compresses the carpal tunnel, causing nerve and weakness to the palmar abduction. this causes a burning sensation in the fingers and thumb as well as sharp pains in the arm and shoulder. if this is not treated in time this can lead to numbness and eventually tumors on the wrists with amputation as the only effective treatment.

meet michael: a lifelike representation of a future gamer in 2040



hunchback & rounded shoulders: a condition that slowly develops over time, a hyperextended neck, rounded shoulders and hunchback will start as a dull pain occasionally and work its way from your neck to your hands and back as the strains slowly create a bend in the neck which creates the hunchback. this is caused by elongated periods of time sitting in uncomfortable positions without stretching or counteracting with regular exercise.



project info:


title: michael, the future gamer

read more:



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: bryan shim | designboom