Published on August 29th, 2013 | by Scarlett Thorpe

New Medical Insight into Gamer Literacy Depreciation

Despite many modern games being vaunted for their immersive worlds and detailed plotlines that allow players some semblance of choice in story progression, shocking new discoveries give rise to measurable loss of diction when played over prolonged period.  Although this is usually only in extreme cases, the phenomenon can and will spread if social interaction between the overexposed is allowed.

Medical and Linguistic Expert Doctor Benjamin Alexander has spent the last 5 years studying the effects of video and tabletop games on linguistic regression in the populace. He has a high tech research facility in which he regularly conducts his evaluations of his subjects.  To distance himself from those he is studying he has found that codenaming them after various comestibles helps him from otherwise interfering in the daily life of these subjects.

The highlights of his research revolve around one particular individual known as “Toast.”

In his public documentation of his findings Dr. Alexander writes: “While Toast started out as a promising young male with an impeccable vocabulary he has, in recent years, devolved into simple sentences usually consisting of object or name X and then the word “Bad.” Usage of this type of diction has a notable increase if he is placed with others in his peer group of gamers for any discernible length of time.”

Even when a story of a game is well written the combination of the human element and social interaction seems to be the root of these adverse effects on gamers.

While there were originally many opposed to Dr. Alexander’s research, after being allowed to tour his laboratory they came to the unanimous decision for those who had slipped too far stating that “What we need now is containment.”

Any considerable amount of time spent with individuals who have regressed to the state of Toast and some of the other test subjects appears to have an impact on the verbosity of the scientists involved as well. One of Dr. Alexander’s former lab assistants Blair Block spent a full day in the testing chamber with Toast and has since been admitted to remedial English courses to try to reverse the damage that was done.  Progress is slow but it appears that Blair will make a full recovery and it is fortunate more prolonged exposure to the test subject did not happen.

One final thought from Dr. Alexander is such “All of this research is not to say that one cannot enjoy a game every now and then but as with enjoying a particularly hearty meal there must be some give and take that happens. In the case of a hearty meal one might spend extra time at the gym so too must one account for any time spent playing a game.  If the symptoms are addressed in a prompt enough fashion a strict diet of literary courses consisting of all the great works has proven to be the best cure for “Badness” resulting from verbal backsliding, though as with any medical condition relapses can occur.”

The best way to combat this threat to our verbosity and overall literacy is to catch it in the early stages which, according to Dr. Alexander’s research “early symptoms include adding plurals where none exist, inverting words and just being wrong and bad all the time.”  Presently there is no known cure for those who have reached the highest levels of degradation but Dr. Alexander is hopeful that a remote webinar might solve the issue of in person interaction with the afflicted.

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About the Author

Scarlett Thorpe

Scarlett Thorpe is a secretive member of the MNN and little is actually known about her activities other than that she manages to get the scoop out from other sources before they even knew it was news.

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