Stop right there. Do not move a muscle. The blog you are about to read could save your life. Well, maybe that’s exaggerating slightly. But it could prevent you from suffering a painful gaming-related injury.
Do the terms “3D optical disorder”, “WASD Syndrome” and “FPS Carpal Tunnel Syndrome” mean anything to you? No? You had better listen up then.
A Genuine Threat
Computer gaming has evolved over the past two decades to become one of the most lucrative industries in the world.
Interactive entertainment revenues for 2016 across all platforms hit $91 billion. This was a huge increase on revenues for 2015 showing the industry is still very much in the ascendency.
Due to computer gaming only reaching obsessive levels in the 1980s, it’s only over the past few years that the long-term effects of rigorous gaming activities are being seen and understood.
Back in the day, blitzing a 12-hour binge on gaming 5-7 days a week seemed harmless. The reality is now a lot grimmer.
Let The Bodies Hit The Floor
Little did we know 25 years ago that committing time to complete Streets of Rage on the Mega-Drive, contesting a 50-game head-to-head battle with your sibling on Wii bowling or guiding Kidderminster Harriers to the 2042 Champions League Final on Football Manager could slowly but surely destroy our muscles.
Unfortunately, the dangers are real. Here is a look at some of the most gruesome gaming-related injuries you could potentially experience…
3D Optical Disorder
Let’s be honest, those of us fortunate enough to possess full sight take it for granted. That’s what makes this injury a particularly frightening one.
It has been revealed that old-school 3D graphics had a corrosive effect on the retinas. This means that if you excessively used 3D technology in the 20th century then the chances are you are at least partially blind.
If you used VR head sets such as the Nintendo Virtual Boy or SEGA VR growing up and now suffer eye-twitching, blurred vision or you just can’t see, then you might want to get that checked out.
you’ve ever seen the design of an Atari controller then you won’t be surprised to hear that it was guilty of causing some horrific injuries.
As the conditions suggests, in a worst case scenario the player experiences their skin being torn away by the controller. Calluses, bleeding fingers and a spread of bacterial infection make this a nasty little injury to suffer.
Infection can also spread quickly due to bacteria festering in the cracks and grooves of the controller.
Due to some cases where the injuries became virally transmittable, in 1983 there was an epidemic in the US state of Detroit that became known as ‘The Great Plague’.
FPS Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Prolonged use of a computer mouse and keyboard whilst playing first person shooter games (FPS) can lead to a compression of the carpal tunnel located by the wrist. If it is left untreated this can lead to tumours developing in the wrist and causing numbness.
You do not want to leave this untreated for very long. Unless you no longer require your hands.
The most fundamental of computer gaming injuries. Nintendo Arthritis is a form of arthritis brought on by repetitive and excessive play time on the Nintendo console.
In the interests of full disclosure, it’s worth noting you can still get this injury from other consoles though. Just so you know this is not an anti-Nintendo piece of propaganda (boo Donkey Kong! Go Sonic!).
Crippled joints and cancerous callouses mean this is the real deal. You might have enjoyed those halcyon days of venturing through the Mushroom Kingdom on Super Mario but you’re going to pay the price for it now.
One of the biggest criticisms of the Playstation 2 controller was the friction it had with players’ thumbs after prolonged gaming sessions. FIFA and Call of Duty addicts really took exception to it.
If players didn’t take care of their hands then they risked abrasions on their thumbs from the persistent use of the analogue stick. The high school joke at the time was that victims of Playstation Thumb had actually just been doing too much of the old self pleasuring.
No, this is not a form of post-traumatic stress disorder.
The WASD part of the injury refers to the use of the W, A, S and D letters on the computer keyboard that are often used to move characters around on PC games such as Half-Life, World of Warcraft or Doom.
The repetitive strain on the finger joints leads to arthritic symptoms with muscles becoming deformed and fingers looking like a pack of pre-cooked sausages after they have been beaten with a rolling pin. Lovely.
WiiMote Shoulder Dislocation
When the Nintendo Wii was released onto the global market back in 2006, it revolutionized computer console gaming.
The WiiMote was innovative and allowed players to get more physical with their gaming experience. However, the design led to urban myths spreading about injuries and accidents.
Players reported WiiMotes going through the television screen or living room window. Allegedly, it also led to shoulder dislocations as players got a little too competitive on Wii Tennis.
We hope earning that final set victory against Uncle Hank was worth it.
Has an Xbox fan boy ever really annoyed you with their distorted views on the strengths and weaknesses of Microsoft’s flagship console? Well, you can now rest safe in the knowledge they are likely to have experienced Xbox Hypertrophy.
This is the term given to the hands when they swell and become misshapen through persistent use of the awkwardly-designed Xbox controller. How’s your online experience of Halo now, fan boy?! Ha.
Have you experienced any of these? Do you have any gaming injuries not covered on this list? Let us know.