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Thursday, December 14, 2006

An unhealthy pursuit

Fascinating report in today's Guardian about the latest innovation in computer gaming. They tell us that the Wii video games console is leaving a trail of destruction in its wake:

But the excitement of using the remote like a virtual tennis racket or boxing glove has gone to the heads of many players, who are now reporting a stream of injuries caused by mistakenly throwing the gizmos across the living room.

Several have documented their damage on YouTube, and websites have sprung up to track the wounds - dubbed "Wiinjuries" by online wags. "I decided to play the game for bowling," wrote Nicole, one bruised gamer on Wiihaveaproblem.com. "I guess I swung really hard to knock down the pins and all of a sudden I realised my head hurt . . . Instead of it flying wildly into the air, it stopped and swung back around and hit me in the head."

Another player showed off his girlfriend's swollen black eye, caused when he accidentally punched her while playing a game. "She approached me from the side, appearing from my blind spot whilst I was performing a slashing movement," he wrote. "I hit her with full force right in her eye."

Others report bruising or cutting their hands by slamming them into tables, doors and ceiling fans. Some have smashed TV screens and windows after losing grip of the remote and hurling it across the room. Even the addition of a wrist strap isn't helping much.

Nintendo's advice is to avoid over-exertion.

Despite a teenage addiction to Space Invaders and Asteroids, gaming is the one aspect of new technology I have so far avoided. I am trying very hard not to be too smug.
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