The Nintendoptimist: All those Wii-related injuries

All manner of tennis elbow, sore backs and other muscle-related maladies have been reported over the past two weeks regarding the Wii, mostly with games like Wii Sports that encourage that extra mile when it comes to arm flailing. I would describe the reaction of Joe Public to these stories as ‘curious’ rather than ‘alarmed,’ but that could change. Superimposed against the launch of the PS3, with its attempted murder charges and real life GTA recreations, I’d argue a few sore muscles aren’t that bad, and will probably stay that was as far as public opinion is concerned. But the public is fickle, and it remains to be seen what effect this alleged overexertion might have. “Wii elbow” already seems to be destined for a Wikipedia entry, if it isn’t there already.

And reports from local networks, like this one from CBS 5 San Francisco, don’t help, as they don’t report a story so much as conjure one up.

“(CBS 5) The Nintendo Wii has barely been out for two weeks. And already there signs the gaming console is being overplayed. The Wall Street Journal reported cases of numb arms, sore shoulders, and the dreaded “Wii-elbow,” all caused by jerky or repetitive motions.”

I used to work at a small paper, and these types of stories were unfortunately a common practice. Went something like this: Editor sees national story about a new fad, and wants to cash in locally with a “bleeds it leads” headline. He finds a local doctor, puts up his best straw man (in this case, “there are already reports it’s being overplayed”), and presto, he gets his controversial headline. Kind of like me saying next gen is an 8/10 Gears of War (guilty, as charged).

The Monday after picking up the Wii I was also sore, but it went away faster than EA’s development budget for the PSP, and it didn’t really affect my everyday goings on. To a certain extent, some edginess to the Wii, in this case mild personal injury, generates buzz. If people start killing each other with Wiimotes, however, that may change. Keep a look out for that first heart attack victim too.

Dr. Latch, featured in the CBS story, has advice: take breaks. My advice? If you’re of the investing type, go all in on whoever the heck makes Bayer, Advil and Tylenol.

[Inspired by a post at Go Nintendo]