Numerous injuries linked to motion-controlled gaming

4 Oct 2010

Doctors have reported 696 video game-related injuries over a five-year period, with 92 of them received from motion-based gaming, such as the Nintendo Wii.

A conference in San Francisco also heard that bystander injuries also went up, thanks to swings of the Wii remote. It was found that most of these involved children less than 10 years old.

Researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia looked at data kept on the US National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which gathers information from hospitals.

Along with calculating a figure of 696 injuries over a five-year period, it also found that the average age of those injured was 16.

Most traditional gaming-based injuries usually involve strained fingers and hands, due to heavy button use. However, 92 of the total gaming injuries were received from the Wii’s motion-controlled gaming experience, with injuries to shoulders, ankles and feet, and cuts and bruises.

A Nintendo spokesperson emphasised the need for players to be more careful while playing.

“As with any new activity, people playing the Wii system should pace themselves and not overdo it,” said the spokesperson.

The spokesperson told players to note the safety instructions, which tells players to give each other space and to use the wrist strap while playing, and to take breaks.

She also said the Wiimote did not require “excessive and forceful actions” in order to register movement.

The warnings come just as Nintendo’s competitors enter the motion-gaming market.

Sony recently released its own motion-based controller, the PlayStation Move. Microsoft will follow it with a hands-free motion controller called the Kinect.