After Hours

Is the Nintendo Wii more dangerous than other gaming consoles?

The dangers associated with playing video games continue to escalate with the introduction of the Nintendo Wii. Check out this recent news story: "Nintendo cautions gamers on Wii remote safety."

According to the story, "The Wii has been pitched as a cheap alternative to pricier machines from Microsoft and Sony, but some gamers complain they are facing unexpected costs after losing their grip on the console's remote control and smashing their televisions and other appliances."

Here's Nintendo's advice: "Hold the remote securely and avoid excessive motion during game play. If your hands become moist, stop and dry your hands." The company also "cautioned players to stay at least 3 feet away from the TV and to make sure people and objects were safely outside their range of motion."

A brief look at Wii Health and Safety Precautions page reveals some of the potential dangers associated with the gaming console. This list includes seizures, repetitive motion injuries and eyestrain, electric shock, motion sickness, radio frequency interference, laser device, console damage, TV screen damage, and battery leakage. This vaguely reminds me of the commercials you see for various pharmaceuticals - product x will help you in numerous ways, and you should talk to your doctor to see if it's right for you... oh, and the side effects include diarrhea, vomiting, acne, cramps, and night terrors.

I've had the opportunity to play the Wii, and I came away from the experience completely unharmed. Being the risk taker that I am, I may give it another go or two. :-) I'll be interested to see what type of security contraptions they come out in the near future, such as fleece-lined wrist restraints instead of a measly wrist strap. When in doubt, accessorize! 

About Sonja Thompson

Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.

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