When Video Games Attack: Virtual Bowling Goes Bad

April 22, 2009 | By | Comments (0)

The fact that this article is currently the third most popular on The New York Times website frightens me. I have to hope that it's because people are sort of amused by it, not because it's something millions of people can identify with.

The piece points out a burgeoning (but not-yet quantifiable) trend in "sports" injuries from playing the Nintendo Wii and the Wii Fit. People are apparently ending up with what looks like tennis elbow, tendinitis in the shoulder, ankle sprains and other sorts of repetitive strain ailments—all from playing a video game!

For the uninitiated, the Wii system allows the user to grip a motion sensing remote that sends signals to the console—so that you play along with whatever game as if you were actually a competitor. You wind your arm up to throw a pitch, you flick your wrist to simulate a volley across the net, you swish your hips from side to side while skiing or snowboarding, and so on.

Of course, my (mostly mock) horror at this makes me sound like a bit of a curmudgeon, as well as unaware that the Wii Fit, in particular, can actually be a good way to incorporate exercise into your life. (It also might upset my husband, who still complains of a shoulder injury he sustained years ago while playing a particularly rousing game of Whiffle Ball. Yes, that nearly weightless ball has left him with residual shoulder pain!)

Anyways, all I know is that if I had to trudge into my doctor's office with my arm in a sling or hobbling on a pair of crutches simply because I'd had an extended (and over-enthusiastic) game of bowling on the Wii with my kids, I'd be a bit sheepish that my injury was obtained while essentially standing in front of the television! (Oh the irony of my snickering: I'm a woman who actually broke her foot while at home  packing for a vacation. Ugh. Long story.)

Anyone here hurt themselves playing a video game? I promise I won't make any jokes!