A British doctor was so kind as to write a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine, handily summarizing what is known about Nintendo-related injuries. The gist: Your Wii wants you dead.
The point of the letter was to highlight a new case, in which a girl hurt her foot playing Wii Fit. But in the process, it provides a tidy little history of ways people have managed to injure themselves playing video games.
• Nintendinitis: This is the classic videogame injury, and one you've probably heard of before. This is a repetitive stress injury in the "extensor tendon of [the] thumb," which you can get from pretty much any game console.
• Wiiitis: Sounds like something a lot of people have probably just slept off:
A healthy 29-year-old medical resident awoke one Sunday morning with intense pain in the right shoulder. He did not recall any recent injuries or trauma and had not participated in any sports or physical exercise recently. He consulted a rheumatology colleague. The Patte's test was positive, consistent with acute tendonitis isolated to the right infraspinatus.
After just a day with the Wii, this kid was out of commission for a week. What does Nintendo have against healthy tendons?
• Traumatic Hemothorax: If this sounds terrifying, you probably did well in Latin class. Doctors have apparently documented the cavities around patients' lungs filling with blood after Wii-related falls. This can kill you.
• Dislocations: This one is the most predictable of the lot, since honestly, who hasn't gotten carried away trying to Happy-Gilmore-bowl their way through Wii Sports? And anyway, fake sport/real injury humor is universal.
• Head Injuries: Wiimote straps may save your HDTV, but they won't save your kid sister from getting clocked in the skull while you're playing Zelda.
• Wii Fracture: This is the new one:
In the United Kingdom, a healthy 14-year-old girl presented to the emergency department at Horton General Hospital in Banbury (near Oxford), having sustained an injury to her right foot with associated difficulty in mobilization. She had been playing on her Wii Fit balance board and had fallen off, sustaining an inversion injury.
Apparently, rolling your foot off the side of the balance board—which, really, anyone who's played Wii Fit has done multiple times—can be enough to crack a bone in your foot.