A Pain in the Wii

You will probably either sympathize or laugh at this latest story coming from the console gaming community. According to last Saturday’s Wall Street Journal (subscription required), gamers are finding that the new Nintendo Wii can be a real pain in the neck… back, shoulder, elbow, wrist, etc.

In case you are unfamiliar with the Nintendo Wii, the controller it comes with is a wireless, motion-sensitive wand-like device. Gamers wave the controller around in the air and depending on which type of game you are playing, the controller can be anything from a sword, gun, tennis racket, or even a steering wheel. However, since the console debuted in mid-November, Nintendo Wii owners are complaining of aching backs, sore shoulders, and even something now called “Wii elbow.”

Here are a couple quotes from the WSJ article from Nintendo Wii owners:

Blaine Stuart of Rochester, New York, mistakenly whacked his fiancee, Shelly Haefele, while playing tennis and also accidentally hit his dog while bowling despite the message Nintendo flashes up on the screen before each game which says: “Make sure there are no people or objects around you that you might bump into while playing.”

Ryan Mercer, a customs broker in Indianapolis, lifts weights several times a week. But that hasn’t helped much with the Wii. After playing the boxing game for an hour and a half, his arms, shoulders and torso were aching. “I was soaking wet with sweat, head to toe — I had to go take a shower,” he says. And the next morning? “I had trouble putting my shirt on,” says the 21-year-old avid gamer.

So what do the doctors think about all this? Lana Kang, an orthopedic hand surgeon, had this piece of advice, “It’s just like athletic play…. Stretch out and be sure to take care of any injuries afterwards.”

With the rate of obese children skyrocketing worldwide, you’d think people would be congratulating Nintendo for combining gaming and exercise, not complaining. Oh well. Grab another Big Mac and wait for the next generation of gaming consoles to come out. Maybe they’ll feature ‘mind control ‘ so you don’t even have to lift a finger to play.

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