As players spend more time with the [Nintendo] Wii, some are noticing that hours waving the game’s controller around can add up to fairly intense exertion — resulting in aches and pains common in more familiar forms of exercise. They’re reporting aching backs, sore shoulders — even something some have dubbed “Wii elbow.”
__ The Wall Street Journal, 11/27/06
1) Guitarpal Tunnel Syndrome. So you’ve finally beaten “Bark at the Moon,” and now it’s on to Guitar Hero II. Congrats. But you better hope your future employment plans don’t require anything like typing or grasping small objects. That little plastic Gibson SG is a way cool peripheral, but fingering those five colored buttons (especially craning to span the distance between green and orange) can be pretty excruciating after even a few minutes of frenzied fretting. So lest your index and pinky snap apart in a small cloudburst of blood, bone shards, and tendons the next time you’re trying to power Lars Ümlaüt through “Strutter,” we’ll warn you now: real rock stars don’t have small hands.
2) The E.T. Headache. Gamers of a certain advanced age may remember a title released for the Atari 2600 back in 1982. Based on the Steven Spielberg blockbuster, the E.T. The Extraterrestrial game was rushed into production with the blind faith that fans would snatch it up for its title alone. Many did. And then they realized that it sucked. Hard. The concussive and maxillofacial trauma of the “headache” occurs from the violent bashing of one’s skull into the wall or floor of one’s living room — this occurs thanks to abject frustration with the game’s excruciating tedium, inexplicable dead ends, and crummy graphics. In extreme cases, subjects have been known to actually flatten their craniums into a shape not unlike that of the alien itself.
3) Halo-tosis. Spending hour upon late-night hour scarfing down Cheetos and cheapo pizza, guzzling 64-ounce megaslurps of sugary Mr. Pibb, all the while trash-talking into an Xbox headset as you taunt other players across the world doesn’t always lead to the sweetest breath. This is but one of many reasons why Halo 2 addicts often lack girlfriends.
4) Contrathumbs. It starts right away: up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start. Already, the uncalloused opposable digits are a mite sore. By the time you’ve used most of those 30 extra lives to propel Mad Dog and Scorpion through the jungle, up the waterfall, across the snow field, and into the hangar, dodging bullets and kicking alien ass all the way, the skin is sloughing off in sheets. And after you’ve finally pumped that pulsing space-creature heart full of a gazillion bullets, your thumb-stumps are as bloody and raw as Red Falcon’s guts. But, boy, is it worth it.
5) Mario Muzak Madness. Listen to it for more than a couple of hours straight. You’ll see.