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Teen has heart attack playing Dance Dance Revolution

Physical demands of Konami's booty-shaker trigger Omaha girl's preexisting heart condition.


Many gamers have admittedly felt as if they were going to have figurative heart attacks after heavy sessions of Dance Dance Revolution. Last week, however, a Nebraskan teen had a literal one while playing Konami's booty-shaker.

On June 22, Kimber Wilson, 15, was playing DDR in an Omaha, Nebraska, arcade when she suddenly dropped to the floor. When the arcade owners came to her aid, they could not detect a heartbeat and had to administer CPR. When the paramedics arrived, they discovered Wilson's heart had indeed arrested. As a result, her heart had to be "revived" through the use of an electronic defibrillator.

Although Wilson's heart attack will likely conjure up more killer-video-game myths, it was caused by a preexisting condition rather than DDR. After she arrived at the hospital, Wilson was diagnosed with hypertrophy cardiomyopathy, a cardiac disease caused by excessively thick heart walls. The condition is genetic and could have been triggered by almost any activity, including standing up or sitting down.

As a result of the discovery, Wilson's heart was implanted with an artificial pacemaker. She is currently listed in "good" condition. When interviewed by a local television station, Wilson said she would return to the arcade but that she'd think twice about getting back on the dance pad. "I might try Dance Dance Revolution, but I'm thinking no," she said.

Ironically, Dance Dance Revolution has recently been making headlines for improving the health of many of its players. The game was singled out in an Associated Press report two weeks ago for helping many obese players lose weight, with one regular gamer dropping more than 200 pounds.

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