Saturday, February 23, 2013

Video Games: The Most Dangerous...Games

at 8:46 PM
While Yourself is recovering from his tonsils being extracted from a back-alley doctor in Tijuana, who also removed his kidneys free of charge(!), I thought I would reflect on some of my injuries. Specifically, the ones caused by playing video games. Because, y'know, that is kinda what this blog is about. Sometimes.

One of my earliest injuries caused by video games is one of the more famous ones: Mario Party Stigmata. For those unaware, in the first entry of the Mario Party series, a few mini-games revolved around revolving the joystick around. Rapidly. Think spinning Bowser around in Mario 64 for 30 seconds at a time. It was more effective to use the palm of your hand for spinning the joystick around. That did not always end well.
I mean unless your definition of well is this happening to you and taking months to fully heal
I felt my hand hurting as I was playing the mini-game, but damn if I was going to let Wario win those ten coins. Screw that guy. So I fought through the pain and...still lost. Man, the N64 controller really blew, didn't it?

The next big injury that I got from playing video games was again at the hands of a Nintendo system. I camped out in line in order to get a Wii, but I, still being a youngster, was not permitted to play any of the games that my parents' credit card bought on launch day because they wanted us to wait until Christmas. So for a little over a month, my family had a Wii, but could only play Wii Sports on it. And guess what, I got tennis elbow from playing Wii Tennis. THE SWING HAD TO BE A REALISTIC TENNIS SWING! A simple flick of the wrist was not dramatic enough. I was not very active when I was in high school.

My most hilarious malady occurred during my playthrough of Mass Effect 3. I wanted to play it on the Xbox at my parents' house, so that my Mass Effect 1 and 2 files could be transferred over. Unfortunately, this placed time restraints on my completion of the game. I decided to head home from college on a long weekend and beat the entire game, because otherwise I would have to wait a substantial amount of time before I was free to go home and revisit the game. On the first day, I played 7 hours straight. On the second day, I played 8 hours straight. When I woke up the next morning my index finger was hurting pretty badly. I did not think very hard about why it hurt so badly, because time thinking was time spent NOT saving the galaxy from Reapers. That third day, I played ten hours straight and beat the game. After I turned off the game my only two thoughts were, "wow, that ending was kind of disappointing," and "WHY IS ALL I KNOW PAIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNN?!?!!" 

I played through Mass Effect 3 as whatever class name they assigned to the sniper dude. This meant that every time I wanted to shoot a badnik, I had to manually squeeze the 360 shoulder button. Over those three days, I shot a lot of aliens. I mean A LOT of aliens. The overuse of my index finger over such a short period of time gave me a minor case of Trigger Finger. Trigger finger, according to the Mayo Clinic, is, "one of your fingers or your thumb gets stuck in a bent position and then straightens with a snap — like a trigger being pulled and released. If trigger finger is severe, your finger may become locked in a bent position. 
Often painful, trigger finger is caused by a narrowing of the sheath that surrounds the tendon in the affected finger." I had to perform stretching exercises for a long time, basically physical freaking therapy, in order to get it back to normal working condition. So next time you claim that you are a die-hard gamer, ask yourself if you are really willing to put your body on the line.
Worth it...?


  1. Mario Party Stigmata added insult to injury because it broke the controller too. N64 analog sticks weren't built to last anyway, but railing on the stick like that killed many an innocent controller.

  2. Back in 2000, Nintendo agreed to send protective gloves to anyone who owned the game.

    1. "'One kid got a tetanus shot,' said Christi Pritchard, a spokeswoman for New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer."

      The game gave him a tetanus shot?!?!?!