Nintendo's innovative game machine has spawned rave reviews and monster sales by allowing players to use natural motions rather than tiny thumb movements to control the action in video games.
But the hit gaming system may also have a downside - a newly diagnosed ailment called Wiiitis (pronounced Wee-i-tis), according to a report published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
AdvertisementJulio Bonis, 29, from Barcelona came up with the diagnosis after awakening one morning with a searing pain in his right shoulder, following an intense game of tennis on his Wii for several hours the night before.
"If a player gets too engrossed, he may 'play tennis' for many hours," wrote Bonis, a physician with Spain's Biomedical Informatics Research Group. "Unlike in the real sport, physical strength and endurance are not limiting factors.
With the growing use of this new video game system, the risk of the Wiiitis variant may be higher than that of Nintendinitis, he said, referring to an alternative ailment, also known as Nintendo Thumb - describing the cramping of the right hand caused by prolonged use of traditional video game controllers.
Though Bonis suffered a sore shoulder, he warned that the flexibility of the could cause injuries to other parts of the body. "Future games could involve different and unexpected groups of muscles," he warned. "Physicians should be aware that there may be multiple, possibly puzzling presentations of Wiiitis."
Fortunately taking ibuprofen and refraining from playing for a week easily treat the injury.
For players who are addicted to the popular games console, however, the cure might be worse than the ailment.