Nintendo is seeking to lead the charge against the notion that all gamers are unfit couch potatoes. Nationwide sellouts of the Wii indicate that gamers are supporting that notion, and many have been very vocal about the system's motion-sensitive controller as being a revolution in gaming. The problem is that it appears that after the first week of the console's release, many of those gamers are running out of breath.
The Wall Street Journal says that "Wii elbow" and other Wii-related physical issues may be the first widespread gaming-related injuries since "Nintendo thumb," the condition that ran rampant following the introduction of the NES in the '80s and the SNES in the '90s.
The newspaper spoke with several new Wii owners who were experiencing aches and pains from repeated use of the console. A 12-year-old from Kentucky reported numbness in her right arm after mimicking the motions of bowling and boxing in Wii Sports; a computer programmer in Minnesota, who admits to being "not very active," complained of sore shoulders; and a man in Indiana says he was "soaking wet with sweat, head to toe" after Wii Boxing.
Nintendo vice president of marketing Perrin Kaplan put it plainly. "[The Wii] was not meant to be a Jenny Craig supplement," she told the WSJ. "If people are finding themselves sore, they may need to exercise more."