The Wii doesn't hurt people. People hurt people

Following researchers at Leeds Teaching Hospital coining the term "Wii knee," to blame the Nintendo game console for injury due to overexerting one's self during game play is ridiculous.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
3 min read
Nintendo Wii
The Wii is sending you to the ER? Nintendo

According to researchers at Leeds Teaching Hospital in the United Kingdom, a new injury called "Wii knee" has been identified, which is most often seen in parents hurting themselves while trying to do too much when playing a game with their kids.

But that's not all. The British Society for Surgery of the Hand said it has also witnessed an increase in the number of injuries after gamers have spent too much time with the Wii.

"We treated a patient this week who had injured herself using a Wii," Richard Milner of the BSSH told The Daily Telegraph. "She was playing tennis with a partner and fractured one of the bones in her finger when he hit the back of her hand with the control."

Where are all these people who have experienced such pain and anguish from playing a video game? These kinds of reports have been floating around ever since the Wii was released, and so far, I've yet to meet one person who was forced to rush to their local emergency room to seek help. I've heard about sore muscles, but all these "injuries" have somehow escaped my grasp. Wii knee? What a joke.

Maybe injuries are on the rise, and I'm sure some (a very small number, most likely) can be attributed to the Wii, but in the end, I simply don't believe that the Wii should be implicated in the injuries of gamers. In fact, I think we should blame it on the fact that people don't exercise and get way too excited when playing Wii Tennis.

The Wii doesn't hurt people; people hurt people.

How did we get to this point? When did people start feeling it was fine to blame the Wii for their injuries instead of looking in the mirror and wondering if it's really necessary to swing as hard as they can when playing Super Mario Sluggers with their 8-year old?

The Wii offers a new way for people to enjoy video games and does a fine job of it. But to say that because it makes people more active, it contributes to an increase in health issues strikes me as more than a little ridiculous.

I'm not saying that people don't get injured playing with the Wii. But I do think it's unfortunate that the Wii is being used as a scapegoat when the real blame should be placed on the relative inactivity of those individuals who overexert themselves while playing. Or for those who are active and hurt themselves while playing the Wii, maybe that "injury" should be considered a clue that they're taking the game just a little too seriously.

I'm sensitive to the fact that because the Wii requires more activity than its competition, there's a higher probability that people would hurt themselves playing that than any other console. But to say that Nintendo's hardware should be blamed for hand injuries is like saying we should blame a treadmill whenever someone pulls a hamstring while running.

Honestly, I think the Wii does more harm to an HDTV when a Wiimote gets tossed into the display than to the human body. It's not the Wii's fault some players get too excited and hurt themselves while playing.

Sorry, folks, but I just don't think we can blame the Wii when we tear an ACL playing Wii Fit

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