wtf, are people retarted?
In the heat of the tennis match, Jerry Marlin jumped up to return a serve, landed wrong and blew out his knee. Not an unusual sports injury -- except that his opponent was a video game.
Video-game injuries are nothing new, but doctors are reporting that as the games have become interactive and more intense, so have the injuries. Marlin, 41, of Nashville, recently underwent knee surgery and will wear a leg brace for at least two months.
"I landed on my feet and my knees buckled," said Marlin, who tore ligaments and cartilage in his knee while playing Nintendo Wii tennis at a church social. "I almost passed out."
Players of virtual video games, notably the Wii, physically exert themselves as they interact with their TV screen to play games such as tennis, golf and baseball. Doctors warn that excessive gamers and out-of-shape occasional players are at risk for injuries ranging from sprained ankles to pulled back muscles.
"It's addictive. People don't play tennis for four hours without taking a break," said Dr. Barry Callahan, director of Premier Hand and Microsurgery Center in Nashville. "They aren't particularly physically fit, so they end up hurting themselves."
Gamers around the country have been reporting their ailments on Web sites such as www.wiihaveaproblem.com. The site includes stories of fractured fingers, pulled hamstrings and broken toes.
It also documents the black eyes and stitches suffered by bystanders, whose injuries typically occur when an electronic controller -- which acts as a virtual piece of sporting equipment -- flies out of a player's hands.
No one tracks how many injuries have occurred while people were playing video games, but Callahan says his practice sees one or two patients a week.
"Interestingly, it's not kids," he said. "It's middle-aged adults."
Older video systems require repetitive hand movements that have been known to cause carpal tunnel syndrome -- pain caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist. However, Wii injuries are more similar to conditions normally associated with real competitive sports, such as pulled muscles and torn tendons.
"It's a really intense physical activity," Callahan said. "They make the same motions that they would in real sports. When they swing, they really swing."
Callahan said his patients are typically shy about revealing how they were injured.
"A lot of times they'll say something like they hurt themselves moving the couch," he said. "Their spouse will roll their eyes and eventually it will come out that they hurt themselves playing Wii tennis for four hours straight."
Dr. Steve Samudrala, medical director of America's Family Doctors walk-in clinics, says he's also treated a few Wii victims, mostly for sprains.
Samudrala says he's a fan of the game because it offers a fun way for people to burn calories.
"Anything to get people up and moving is a good thing," Samudrala said. "People should just use good common sense and stretch before doing any exercise."
Despite his injuries, Marlin has no plans to stop playing.
"This is my fault. It's all me," he said. "I think the Wii is an awesome game. It's wonderful exercise."
"You can actually interact with your kids instead of them going into their room to play a video game by themselves. It's one of the best times you'll have with your family."
Also, check out the webpage thats in this article. www.wiihaveaproblem.com