80s, 90s, Quick Lists, Video Games — February 20, 2012 12:09 am

6 Videogame Dangers

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While just about anything is fine in moderation, videogames and consoles still pose multiple health risks to us humans. From vision problems to burning down the house, it’s clear that Sega and Nintendo are out to get us.

6 – Virtual Boy

Every time you close your eyes, a red LED representation of Kevin Costner from Waterworld will haunt your existence.

Before the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo’s Virtual Boy was touted as being the first console capable of displaying 3D. To use the Virtual Boy, unwilling participants smashed their face right into the unit, exposing their retinas directly to red hot lasers, burning off any vision the user may have had. The manual and box even advertised the system’s ability to inflict permanent vision damage to its unknowing victims. Not only was vision damage an issue, so was dizziness, eyestrain, migraines, disorientation, backache, and shoulder strain. With its eye bleeding red and black graphics, it’s like shoving your face into an old GeoCities website.

5 – Nintendo 3DS

Well, 3D worked so well for Nintendo before…

New to the market is Nintendo’s 3DS. Taking a cue from the Virtual Boy, the 3DS is not recommended for use for those ages six and under for fear of their eyeballs catching on fire. Headaches are also a risk for some gamers, although the results are inconclusive with no games released for the system.

4 – Nintendo Thumb

Leather Thumb is better than Leather Face, I guess.

Even in the 1980s, Atari enthusiasts were suffering from “Leather Thumb” (or as it’s more popularly known today, “Nintendo Thumb”). This repetitive strain injury (RSI) has symptoms such as blistering, swelling, and burning and tingling sensations, leading to stress on tendons and even the despised yuppie disease, tennis elbow.

3 – Skin Grossness

Yeah, I’m not going to look up photos of skin disease. Use your imagination.

You can even suffer from skin ulcerations with videogames, thanks to Playstation palmar hidradentis, or in English—your hands become covered in some attractive, yet painful, lesions. And you thought you had a hard time getting a girlfriend before.

2 – Sega Activator

Mom’s gonna be so mad…

The Sega Activator is a flat octagon that lays on the floor. Infrared laser beams alert the system as to the player’s movement. This would have been a neat idea, if it wasn’t for pesky things like ceilings and ceiling fans interfering with the proper operation of the unit. The idea is that the Sega Activator is supposed to translate the player’s movement into the game. Instead it transferred vases, broken, onto the floor.

1 – Atari Mindlink

Radical loafers!

The Atari Mindlink was slated for a 1984 release, but as you already know, that wasn’t a great time for videogames. The Mindlink was to be worn around the forehead. Players would “think” (move their forehead around, basically) about the movements they wanted to make on screen, which would then be transmitted to the console. Results of preliminary tests showed that users suffered frequent headaches from moving their eyebrows so much. Again, a neat idea, because just using your hands to control a joystick was too physically taxing.

Honorable Mention: The detrimental effects the Nintendo Wii has on your television.

I’ll take 20 units after that stunning demonstration!

Did we miss your favorite way videogames have tried to kill you? Leave a comment!

1 Comment

  • “The idea is that the Sega Activator is supposed to translate the player’s movement into the game. Instead it transferred vases, broken, onto the floor.”


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