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Nintendinitis is a real, medical thing -- learn the facts

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Wii Sports
John Ewing/Getty Images

Nintendinitis may sound like what a grandparent might call a Nintendo system when they have no idea what a Wii or 3DS is called. But Nintendinitis is actually a real name for a real trend of medical problems caused by the House of Mario. No, really.

The British Medical Journal, in its year-end findings, conducted a study to recount some of the unspeakable horrors that have plagued players on Nintendo consoles for decades–and these aren’t problems that Dr. Mario can fix by throwing a few pills at them.

“Nintendinitis” was prevalent in the pre-Wii days of Nintendo, signifying any problems in the thumb, hand, and wrist caused by excessive use of Nintendo controllers. So the joint pain you’re feeling in your hands now may very well have been caused by Pikachu being so adorable that you couldn’t give up the hunt to catch him all those years ago.

Nintendo-related injuries would only increase as the Wii hit the market, with other types of muscle pain, knee injuries, and even fractures resulting from some of Nintendo’s later games. Wii Sports appears to be the main culprit in this later periodno surprise since it came packaged with every Wii consoleleading to many cases of tendinitis, muscle pain, knee injuries, and other ailments.

Some cases of Nintendinitis were also attributed to the joystick on the Nintendo 64 controller. And in the time period known as AW—After Wii—issues like “Wiiitis,” “Wii Knee,” and “Surgerii” all surfaced in the BMJ‘s findings. “Surgerii,” despite its hilarious name, actually refers to cases more serious than Wiiitis, including fractures, lacerations, and other problems that required surgery after dangerous sessions of Wii FitWii Sports, and other Wii games.

No injuries seem to have been reported from the Wii U as of yet, however. Though the cases the BMJ studied likely didn’t take into account the surely massive number of players psychologically damaged by the Luigi death stare.

Despite all of the findings, the conclusion reaffirms that there’s still a good chance playing video games won’t do any major harm to your body unless you do nothing but play video games. But players might not want to immediately mock the admittedly silly suggestions on screen to take a break from the game you’re playing.

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