The rise of eSports: are addiction and corruption the price of its success?

Forget football, the world’s fastest-growing sport is live video gaming. But increasingly its impact is proving harmful to those involved

If you had been away from the planet for the past quarter of a century, one of the few things you might find comfortingly familiar on your return is the world of sport. While the digital revolution has transformed the way we shop, chat, date, do politics and consume culture, sport looks largely unchanged. From football to cricket to golf, it’s still the same old staples, hitting a ball into a hole or goal or over a boundary. There hasn’t been a major new sport invented for more than a century. Or has there?

In the East End of London, Sam Mathews is holding court at Fnatic’s HQ, otherwise known as the Bunkr. A pop-up shop that opened last December, it is marketed as the “world’s first eSports concept store” and is as knowingly hip as its Shoreditch surroundings. Here at the Bunkr, you can buy eSports equipment, meet players, view streamed events and even watch matches live.

Related: Hashtag United, Wimbly Womblys and the virtual gamers striking it rich

Related: Sport 2.0: crumbling traditions create a whole new ballgame | Sean Ingle

Related: Sebastian Coe: ‘Athletics needs to be innovative, braver and more creative’

Related: Golf fights old perceptions and drop in players to attract new audience | Ewan Murray

I ask if he will give me the most powerful shock he gives patients. The impact is violent. I still feel it hours later

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Popular social media sites ‘harm young people’s mental health’

Poll of 14- to 24-year-olds shows Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter increased feelings of inadequacy and anxiety

Four of the five most popular forms of social media harm young people’s mental health, with Instagram the most damaging, according to research by two health organisations.

Instagram has the most negative impact on young people’s mental wellbeing, a survey of almost 1,500 14- to 24-year-olds found, and the health groups accused it of deepening young people’s feelings of inadequacy and anxiety.

Related: Social media and bullying: how to keep young people safe online

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David Baddiel: Yes, I make fun of Dad’s dementia – and he’d be delighted if he knew why

It’s not ‘low’ to point out that when Theresa May says the same thing over and over again she sounds as if she has dementia. It’s a joke Dad would appreciate

A couple of days ago, having seen the prime minister say the phrase strong and stable about 75 times in the space of a five-minute interview, I tweeted this:

I must say Theresa May is very good at saying the same thing again and again #strongandstable. So is my dad. Who has dementia.

@Baddiel Low use of your dad there… Corbyn is wayyyyy more whacked out than your old fella.

A. Don’t tell me not to make jokes about my own father.
B. I make loads of jokes about Corbyn. Read my TL.
C. Fuck off.

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‘This oversteps a boundary’: teenagers perturbed by Facebook surveillance

News that Facebook shared teens’ details with advertisers throws focus on firm’s ability to mine the data of its 2 billion users – and raises serious ethical questions

We know that Facebook keeps track of every like, click and post we make to its platform. If we often check in at airports, it’s not surprising when we are shown airline ads. If we like a load of electronic music artists, we don’t balk when we see a promo for a festival where some of them are playing. We have grown accustomed to it, and there’s some visibility about what’s going on in the black box.

Related: ‘I’m an ex-Facebook exec: don’t believe what they tell you about ads’

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Google’s Mo Gawdat: ‘Happiness is like keeping fit. You have to work out’

When the tech guru’s son unexpectedly died, he turned to an equation they had devised together to get through the grief

Mo Gawdat is the chief business officer at Google X – the “moonshot factory” responsible for some of the company’s more audacious projects, such as self-driving cars and a balloon-powered global internet. Before he joined Google, while working as stock trader and tech executive in Dubai and in response to a period of depression, he used his engineer’s mindset to create an “equation for happiness”. The equation says that happiness is greater than, or equal to, your perception of the events in your life minus your expectation of how life should be.

When his 21-year-old son Ali died during a routine operation, Gawdat turned to the equation, which they had worked on together, in an attempt to come to terms with his tragic loss. Gawdat’s book, Solve for Happy, explains the theories underpinning the equation and how it helped him sustain his life after Ali’s death.

Related: Google’s research sibling X shuts down drones project

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Dementia sufferers to receive devices to block nuisance calls

About 1,500 elderly and vulnerable people will get gadgets in first wave of funding for scheme announced by Theresa May

The UK government is to fund high-tech call-blocking devices to protect dementia sufferers and vulnerable people from nuisance phone calls, although only around 1,500 people will be given the gadgets under the initial funding.

The £500,000 project will install trueCall devices in the homes of elderly and vulnerable people identified by doctors. The machines block all recorded messages, silent calls and calls from numbers not pre-identified by the homeowner, which the government says will offer particular protection for dementia sufferers.

Related: Living near heavy traffic increases risk of dementia, say scientists

Related: Plagued by nuisance calls? It’s time to ring some strategic changes

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Why virtual reality could be a mental health gamechanger

We’re still a long way from from being able to provide timely treatment to everyone who needs it, but we could be on the brink of change thanks to VR

Few tech topics are hotter right now than virtual reality (VR). Though it’s been around for decades, VR has at last entered the world of consumer electronics via devices like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive and, increasingly, headsets that can be used in conjunction with our mobile phones. But VR isn’t just a technological game-changer: it could transform the way we tackle mental health problems.

Not so long ago, talking about psychological problems was taboo. Now the scale of these disorders is no longer a secret. We know, for example, that one in four people will experience mental health issues at some point in their life. The ramifications from this ocean of distress aren’t merely personal; the socio-economic consequences are profound. Nearly half of all ill health in working age adults in the UK is psychological. Mental illness costs the UK economy £28 billion every year — and that’s excluding NHS costs.

Related: Virtual reality isn’t just for gaming – it could transform mental health treatment

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Noise-cancelling headphones: the secret survival tool for modern life

Headphones that block out sound were first invented for airplane pilots on long flights and have for some become a vital part of daily life

There’s one thing other than my wallet and my travel card I wouldn’t be without in a big city, and it’s my headphones. But I don’t actually listen to music that much: I just activate the noise-cancelling feature, and leave it at that.

No sound plays into my ears – instead a quiet fills my head, as if the sounds of the world have been turned down. Until I got noise-cancelling headphones, I had no idea how loud the city always was, and just how hungry I’d been for silence.

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