Hard-hitting news: WSJ warns of Wii-related injuries
byEvan Blass||November 26th 2006 at 9:05pmNovember 26th 2006 9:05 pm
So, we've all had a good laugh when it comes to the "Wii injuries" meme -- retailers worried about flailing arms during demos, websites publishing tongue-in-cheek guides to potential hazards, and a few folks breaking TVs, beer mugs, and the like -- but it must be a pretty slow news day if an esteemed publication like the Wall Street Journal has space to print a completely serious, anecdote-driven piece on the supposed physical dangers inherent to the Wii experience. In a nutshell, author Jamin Warren interviewed a handful of people and, based on their tales of aches and pains following heavy Wii usage, concluded that a dangerous epidemic of sprained wrists and sore muscles is about to strike the world of gaming. Unfortunately for his thesis, almost everyone quoted in the story -- a 12-year-old girl, computer programmer, and a weightlifter -- come across as out-of-shape in the first place (even the lifter eschews cardiovascular exercise), so is it any wonder that this rare physical exertion caused some aches and pains? Or, as Nintendo's Perrin Kaplin so aptly puts it, "[Wii] was not meant to be a Jenny Craig supplement; if people are finding themselves sore, they may need to exercise more." Kaplin also points out that while it may be fun to swing the Wiimote around like a maniac, all of the games can be played perfectly adequately with small movements while sitting on the couch. So should everyone who pulls a muscle or smacks their cat while Wii bowling band together and slap Nintendo with a class action lawsuit? Hardly; this seems like a classic example of the media trying to pull a story out of thin air, and while there may be a few cases of temporary injuries resulting from getting one's Wii on, well, maybe that will cause some people to actually turn off the TV, drop the controller, and pick up a real tennis racket or golf club to condition themselves for next time.