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Apr 21, 2005



Yes, I know the WoW-shoulder. I found that a heated cherry pit pillow helps. See http://www.thenewhomemaker.com/node/68080


I found continual gaming over a period of years actually makes non-existant. I bet you if you polled some of the other younger patrons of TN you'd find that the earlier they started gaming on the computer, the less likely they have such ailments. I for one, have been gaming hardcore for over 15 years, and draw the conclusion that the reason that I don't have carpal-tunnel or other misc computer related injuries is because I started young and continued usage nearly every day.



i work really hard at setup to spread the controls around.

thats reason number 8 why i suck at pvp.


I must be really old school, I use auto-run and use the keyboard arrows to adjust my heading. Something that I had learned to do before they invented the mouse.

Or I just use auto-follow, let the guy ahead of me do all the mouse work. Works real great if you're right next to them when you enable it, so you don't get stuck behind things as you run.


I had to adjust my seat height because I was having shoulder pain--my elbows were up too high and it pinched my rotator cuff. Once I did this, it cleared up. So while one factor is /played time, another is ergonomics.


That's too funny. I only played WoW for 11 days, but man, did my shoulders and neck hurt during that time.



When I first started playing EQ back in the day, my palms would get sore from resting on the desk while working the keyboard and the mouse. Gel pads worked for that one. Pain in my left wrist from using WASD for movement was made easier with an ergonomic, cordless keyboard turned to a pronounced angle. My right index finger gets sore all the time from holding down or pressing the left mouse button over and over. Still no cure for that one other than cutting back on my play time.


Hurts my hand, right around where the thumb meets the palm. I bought a trackball just so I could alternate between crippling myself with the mouse, and not.


just some tips from an old ~60 hr./week gamer.

repetitive stress injuries are par for the course when it comes to logging in games for hours on end.

ever hear of nintendo finger? horrible ergonomic design on the original NES controllers. sharp edges at all the contact points where a user would hold or press the controller. a few days of playing and your fingers would throb.

"smaller is better" is a new industrial design mantra. smaller when it comes to controllers also leads to more injuries. compare playing a console game for eight straight hours vs. a GBA game. i still use the original giant xbox controller -- it keeps the fingers extended, the wrists straight.. (p.s. as someone with carpal tunnel, the most comfortable ps2 controller i've ever used is the logitech wireless controller. as for keyboards, the cheapest logitech keyboards have a very thin profile and lie as close to flat to the table as possible.)

i have friends who started console game testing at 18, working 40-60 hours a week with a video game controller in hand, and developed carpal tunnel syndrome at 21. i developed it after six straight months of 60-80 weeks (a new console launch).

take quick, frequent breaks. instead of eating/drinking to get back into the fight asap, stand up and stretch as you med. think: efficient motion. do the most with the least. autorun is your friend. use the keyboard to steer, mouse to look. if you don't PvP, mouse look autosnap is fine. when i was playing eq1, i rarely ever touched my mouse.


Yeah, it can get really bad for me, as well -- although RTS games are even worse for me because of the inherent tension and constant management/movement.

What I've done to combat the aches:
1. My day-to-day work is done on my Mac for which I use my opposing hand (left) or a Wacom tablet. It took a little getting used to, but now I'm completely ambidextrous with a mouse so I can always swap to give the other hand/shoulder a break.
2. A good chair and a desk at the correct height.
3. Frequent breaks to stretch and walk around, especially for long sessions.
4. Water to stay hydrated. Especially important if you're also doing the caffeine.
5. Massage therapy; haven't need to recently, but when it's gotten really bad I've gone to a deep tissue massage therapist. (Insert happy ending joke here.)

So, Ren, I take it you are enjoying WoW?


As someone that started gaming at a young age, Lee, I can agree that I don't have any real problems with playing excessively (physical ones that is). Perhaps we just developed instincts that makes us unconciously(sp?) avoid certain postures that can lead to soreness.


I figure the original NES controller was one of the best made. With all those pointy corners, the acute pain from holding it builds up so fast, you can't use it enough to develop RSI.


As for dealing with RSI, here's what I do:
1) Ergonomic keyboard, with the game's key controls adjusted so that the most common keys are A, S, and D, and everything can be done with the left hand. If the game allows it, other controls are mapped to tab, shift, and capslock.
2) Both a mouse and a trackball connected to the computer, placed so I can switch between the two frequently and often. If my desk had the room, I'd add a second mouse for my left hand.


Gosh who knew this would elicit so much feedback - thx 4 the tips everyone.

I do use the NumLock and sometimes the keys but for some reason I really prefer steering with the mouse. Or I steer with the arrow keys and look around with the mouse – that’s something that’s taken a lot of practice and I’m still running into trees, but at my level you have to watch for the most feeble of MOBs. Now I’ve switched hands and I’ve even considered not logging tonight, maybe I’ll just log into the guild TeamSpeak server (it's like Radio WoW) and experience things vicariously. I’ll try to focus on the stretching water etc in future too.

Am I enjoying WoW. Hmm, not sure I’d use the word enjoy, though I am finding interesting from a kinda Designeritis (or in my case writeritis or something) perspective.


When my mates where heavilly into Diablo they used to complain of Diablo Claw!


i loves me my handshake mouse. this thing made a really big difference for me.


i finally got around to playing gta san andreas, and i'm loving it, but its controls offer a unique discomfort as well. to shoot with any efficiency (in the ps2 version), you've got to use both your index fingers and your middle fingers to sit on r1/r2/l1/l2, in addition to the thumbs on the sticks. i'm not much of a console gamer in the first place, but my hands definitely aren't used to playing a game with six fingers at once.

if i had to name it, it's definitely of the "claw" variety.


You know you're a catass when you start to have aliments named


Err you know you're a catass when you start to have aliments named Game Body-Part.

And when you have to post twice cause you futzed up the first try with brackets around words.


I've had this issue since the constant 6-8 hours of raiding nightly in Everquest. The trick I use is placing one pillow behind my knees (circulation reasons) and one at my lower back. This combo tends to force me to sit up straighter in my chain and avoid aches and pains in my legs, lower back, and shoulders.

Just my 2 cents.

-Nick Cassidy


speaking of raiding and hand trouble, i've got some software set up to remind me to take occasional breaks, but i find that it precludes me from doing any grouping.

i tend towards solo play in the first place, but i wonder how common it is for peoples' play style to be affected by this type of thing.


i dunno i'm young (24) been gaming since gosh, 6, 8, and occasionally i get pain from gaming. last time was plaing red orchestra (mod for UT2004) and was stretching my pinky finger to the control key constantly while using wasd to move. Hurt like the devil for a week, burning my wrist too. I could barely type or do work. i need to find a better crouch key for FPS, but after you use one for so long it's hard to change.

anyway, i suggest useing a FPS setup for playing MMOs. use wasd to move your toon forward back and strafe left and right and use your mouse only for looking. it's the best way i think.

running with the mouse is different-- i used to have my right mouse be forward in quake 2 as an experiment--seemed to make things faster and aiming easier--but have abandoned that for the traditional wasd.

or in WoW you can do like a friend did and use the arrow keys for moving (i think that was default setup for DAOC) but i thought that was weird. WASD on left hand, mouse on right hand is the way to go. all you have to do with your right hand is point in a direction and click when you need to.


In my long long years of gaming, from the first Atari console as a 4 year old to long hours on WoW, Rome and Battlefield now, I've never got any aches aside from eyes dangling two feet out of their sockets scraping the surface of my desk on those late late nights when time teleports and you wonder why there s red light outside the blind drawn window.

The only thing I can complain about is game-dreams. Most of my dreams, every single night, are in WoW like places or shooters and often I know I m dreaming/playing. Not sure that's really a complaint.

Otherwise I'd put it down to fencing training three times a week. If you keep that flesh cage well oiled I doubt you can get aches from gaming. Or its just something that's grown on me like a second skin.


Get up and have a ten-minute walk every hour or so. Draw a glass of water (having to walk to the bathroom more often will help too). Then eat a small snack or play a round of DDR.

They're called repetitive strain injuries. The best way to avoid them is to have breaks in the repetition, hopefully with some exercise.

We are, after all, smarter than those (rumored) gamers in Korea who sit down at their computers and play Starcraft non-stop until their bodies shut down and they die.

That said, I've played DOOM until my wrists were burning. I've held my NES controller until my whole hands were cramped. I know how fun videogames are, and how they can make you forget about your body.


Forgetting about your body could be the sole purpose for gaming...

Over the weekend, an feature article popped up on the Washington Post about Blackberry Thumb.

I find it funny that in the Information Age, one of the fastest growing health problems is in a way from excessive manual labor.

Along with a rapidly aging populace, one would think the market ripe for more ergonomic user interface solutions. In application, we already have VoIP firmly entrenched in FPS games. When will full voice support be implemented in persistent world games, where it would have the most impact?


I haven't had many problems with WoW and physical ailments yet. My legs get sore sometimes b/c I sit indian-style in my oversized chair, and I also have a left arm rest that sits up on my desk. Have all the ergonomic mouse/keyboard stuff as well. With a bad back, I'm surprised I haven't gotten sore yet from playing for long stretches.

Best advice...while on the bat/gryphon, get up to grab a drink, have a bio break, or just walk around the house or into another room for a little bit. Some of these rides are brutally long (UC>Badlands anyone? Or auberdine>theramore).

Ted said:
"i work really hard at setup to spread the controls around.
thats reason number 8 why i suck at pvp."

Haha, what are reasons #1-7?


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blague humour
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