What Is Nintendoitis

It's hard to believe there was a time before video games. There were generations who never got to experience Mario, or even Pong. At least we of this modern age never have to suffer such a life. We're at a point in video game tech where we can literally escape into other worlds via virtual reality. The consoles have progressed in quality so quickly that the games we played only 10 years ago are considered "retro." We have handheld devices, games that can be played co-op online, PC worlds to explore, and clickers on phones to occupy boring pauses in our mundane lives.

Playing video games is a great way to pass the time. They're competitive and exciting. They raise the heart rate and help us unwind at the same time. But, playing video games can also be a painful experience, and not only because you can't get a single kill on that group of 10-year-olds. There are physical effects as well. You might develop "Nintendoitis."

Ma, I can't use my hands!

Let's say you've had your Xbox or Playstation controller in your hands for several hours a night, every night, for the past three weeks, and you're beginning to wonder why your fingers aren't at their peak. They're stiff. They hurt. You're already looking a little pathetic, with "most deaths" being the only achievement you've managed to unlock in the game. You might be thinking, "I'm getting too old for video games," but age doesn't have a lot to do with it. Chances are, you have Nintendoitis.

Nintendoitis is a repetitive stress injury, reports the BBC, which means you've been mashing the same buttons in the same way for far too long and it's beginning to take a toll on the connective tissue in your hands. You begin to develop tendonitis — like tennis elbow for your fingers. The tendons become inflamed, which leads to pain and immobility. Your fingers may swell and, says Cleveland Clinic, go numb. The injury can get worse over time, leading to more pain and loss of function. The good news? You can put some ice on your hands, give them a rest, and start cutting down your video game time until you feel well enough to get back at it. You should be fine. The bad news? You'll never be an esports pro. But be honest: that wasn't going to happen anyway.