How dirty is gaming?

by MaddOx
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Gaming can be dirty. No, we’re not talking about spying on your mate’s controller to see which way he’s putting his penalty on FIFA. We’re not talking about people who cheat at competitive games using hacks and mods. We’re talking about literal dirt. Dust, skin cells, bodily fluids. You name it, it will probably be found in and on your gaming machines and controllers.

But don’t take our word for it, because according to research conducted by Betway Casino, gaming machines contain 3x more bacteria than a toilet seat. If research hadn’t been conducted on the topic, you wouldn’t believe that the place where you go to do your number ones and number twos was cleaner than your gaming console.

How dirty are your gaming machines?

It seems some gamers are dirtier than others. And you may not necessarily expect who places where. The cleanest of all the consoles is actually the Nintendo Switch, which contains an average of 55 colonies of bacteria. Surprising to some due to the Switch being a more family console and being in the grubby mitts of snot-filled children. However, its small size does give a smaller surface area for bacteria to gather on.

When it comes to the two big hitters in the console war, Xbox comes out on top with the cleaner console. Containing an average of 63 colonies of bacteria, it has 10 less than main rival PlayStation which has an average of 73 colonies of bacteria. It may not be the biggest concern to which console is best, but I’m sure Xbox fans will take every victory they can get over their Sony rivals.

We can’t mention console wars though without also mentioning the PC Master Race. And once again, the PC comes out on top, although in this case, it’s at the bad end of the table. Containing an average of 165 colonies of bacteria, PCs are more than twice as dirty as the dirtiest console, and also more than 5x dirty than a toilet seat which averages 30 organism growths on the surface.

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What about controllers and peripherals?

In terms of standings, things change slightly. The cleanest controllers belong to Xbox. Their triggers contain as few as 15 colonies of bacteria, which is twice as clean as a toilet seat. Their buttons and joysticks however jump to 63 colonies of bacteria, but that’s not the worst bit yet. The controller’s handles contain on average 83 colonies of bacteria, but being the chunkiest of the controllers, it does make some sense. Overall that averages out at 54.

The Nintendo Switch isn’t much dirtier, which is no surprise when they’re attached to the console itself a lot of the time and that was the cleanest of the lot. The handles and triggers are the cleanest key areas, each containing an average of 55 colonies of bacteria, with the buttons/joysticks which get heavier use peak at an average of 63 colonies of bacteria. Overall this averages out around 58.

PlayStation takes the crown of dirtiest console though, which personally is no surprise as I have taken my controllers apart and have seen how dirty they get. As with the others, the triggers are the cleanest part of the controller, averaging 33 colonies of bacteria. But things start to quickly rise, with handles having an average of 73 colonies of bacteria, and joysticks a shocking 190. Averaging out overall at 99.

Once again though, PC makes consoles look clean enough to eat your dinner off, with their peripherals being some of the biggest breeding grounds for bacteria we’ve seen. Your keyboard will contain an average of 165 colonies of bacteria, but what’s even worse, is how dirty your mouse is, with an average of 248. Even the power button on the PC Case has 115. Not that I need to average them out to tell you how dirty they are, but that does come to 176 colonies of bacteria.

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How to keep your gaming machines in top condition

Whilst it may be time consuming, it’s not difficult to clean your consoles. And having read these shocking statistics you will probably want to know how to do it.

Well, firstly, make sure whatever your cleaning is unplugged. Don’t want any shocking accidents now do we. Then, you can buy electronics cleaning wipes. These are anti-bacterial wipes designed mainly for office use to clean dirty monitors, phones, and other bits and bobs, but they’re great for cleaning controllers and consoles too.

If you’re a bit worried about moisture getting into your devices, you can always use a dry microfiber cloth as this will act as a magnet for dust, and can get rid of dirty finger marks with ease. Or you can also find special gels that many people use on keyboards to get dirt out from between keys. This works by pressing it on surfaces and it will get into crevices, clearing them all out without the need for any cleaning products that could cause damage.

The final gadget that will come in handy and can be found quite cheaply, are cans of compressed air. This will blow air at a high enough pressure that it can dislodge dirt and dust. Ideal again for keyboards, or clearing out vents on your consoles.

Special gel being used to clean the keyboard on a dirty laptop

Will you clean your console now?

We’ve told you the findings, we’ve given you tips on how to clean. But will this research make you clean your consoles more regularly? Or are you happy ignoring what you can’t see and having a ‘dirty’ console? Maybe you already routinely clean your systems and accessories? Let us know in the comments below, or drop us a message on our social channels.

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