Sunday, June 10, 2007

For All of the Brothers Out There

Diagnosis: 'Wiiitis'

It was only a matter of time. Twenty years after the dread "Nintendo thumb" swept through a then-NES-mad nation, a term for a new game-related ailment has been coined. The June 7 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine features an article describing a condition thousands of gamers are likely suffering from.

In a letter to the editor, Dr. Julio Bonis, a self-described "healthy 29-year-old medical resident," outlines how he "awoke one Sunday morning with intense pain in the right shoulder. " The good doctor had engaged in no athletic activity during the days prior, nor had he suffered any injuries or trauma that could cause the pain. However, a rheumatologist diagnosed Bonis with "acute tendinitis isolated to the right infraspinatus."

After picking his brain, Bonis "recalled that he had bought a new Nintendo Wii...and had spent several hours playing the tennis video game." He then diagnosed himself with "acute Wiiitis," a term he coined after hearing similar complains of aches from colleagues who had played Wii Sports.

"It is probably an under diagnosed condition," Bonis told the Retuers news service. He explained that, unlike real sports, Wii players might not become fatigued before they self-inflict repetitive-motion injuries. Also, due to the fact different Wii games work different muscles, joints, and ligaments, he warned that "physicians should be aware that there may be multiple, possibly puzzling presentations of Wiiitis."

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