Nintendo Wii causes sports injuries – Are Nintendo responsible?

February 18, 2008

Nintendo Wii causes sports injuries - Are Nintendo responsible?With the Nintendo Wii continuing to dominate hardware sales in this console generation, despite being graphically, and technically inferior to rivals PS3 and Xbox 360, it seems the vultures are moving in, and using scaremongering against the console.

ABC2 News recently ran a story which looked at the first known case of Wii pain, a sports type injury picked up purely by playing the Wii, using the Wii Remote control system.

Anthony Williams, an MTA bus driver, has put himself out of work for over a month by playing Wii Sports a bit too enthusiastically for long stretches at a time. This lead to extreme soreness in his wrists, bad enough to wake him up in pain every night.

He went to see his doctor, who diagnosed Anthony with severe tendonitis, caused by too much time on the Wii.

Orthopaedic surgeon Dr.David Buchalter told them:

“It takes you aback initially when you hear about someone playing a video game in front of their TV and having a sports injury. It’s really a new version of sports injury.”

“I think it’s important to realize this is a different type of game. This is one that’s going to involve strenuous activity.”

The problem seems to be that the older generations who are being tempted to play these new types of video games, which require some physical movement, rather than just idly sitting and twiddling a joypad, seem to think they need to properly go for it, and use the Wii remote with all their might.

Younger players know this type of harsh movement isn’t actually necessary, and all that is needed is a quick waggle of the controller to have the same effect on screen.

Nintendo responded to the fears by saying:

“Nintendo is committed to ensuring not only a fun game play experience on the Wii, but a safe one as well. Nintendo has gone to great lengths to inform consumers about the innovative and unique game-play experience on the Wii. As consumers adapt to this new style of play, there have been a few reports of minor incidents during overly enthusiastic game play.”

“As when beginning any new physical activity, it’s best to pace yourself and not overdo it. Some games, including Wii Sports, include in-game reminders for players to take a break every now and then.”

Nintendo are being undone by the popularity, and range of players on the Wii, as older people using the Wii with no-one to guide them could potentially hurt themselves in the process.

I think Nintendo have covered themselves well enough though, and any injures like this that may occur, are purely the fault of the people playing the games without proper care and attention.


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