back to article Hundreds of Americans, bystanders injured playing video games

Shocking news from America today, as it has been revealed by paediatricians there that playing video games is tremendously damaging to that nation's youth: not so much in terms of warping fragile little minds with scenes of graphic violence'n'nookie but in terms of actual, physical injuries. No, really. According to research …


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  1. LawLessLessLaw


    ~700 injuries in 5 years in a population of 300 million people

    can the advice doc, fearmonger

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Patrick O'Toole? What an appropriate name!

    Patrick O'Toole becomes Paddy O'Tool becomes Pad your tool... and he's studying kids. BAN THIS SICK FILTH!

    Oh, you said paed/iatrician/. Damn.

  3. TeeCee Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    Same old, same old....

    Picture the scene: An evening in an office sometime in the early/mid 1990s. Four geeky types sit at screens distributed around the floor.

    One of the geeky types looks at his screen running DOOM, sees someone peeking round a corner, selects the Rocket Launcher and hammers the fire button three times in quick succession.

    From the other side of the floor there's a loud <CRASH> as a geek-laden wheelie chair impacts a wall sideways at near-relativistic velocity, spilling its contents onto the floor, to the accompaniment of a selection of coarse anglo-saxon terms indicating some personal injury.

    Playing DOOM deathmatch while sat on wheeled chairs could be quite hazardous.

  4. Lionel Baden

    lol wut

    Children under 10 should be supervised !!!

    i guess they would hate my 2 year old using my computer for games unsupervised !!

  5. JimC

    >bystander injuries

    Hmm, if the kids are supervised, doesn't that mean more bystanders and thus a higher risk f bystander injuries?

  6. cirby

    "tremendously damaging"???

    So... 696 injuries. Over five years. In a country of over three hundred million.

    Not so "tremendous," I'd say. Literally less than a one in a million chance...

  7. Anonymous Coward

    The most common injuries...

    ..resulted from the forceful insertion of game controllers where the sun don't shine.

    Smugness and sore-losing suspected.

  8. Ian Stephenson

    Children ...should be supervised while video games are being played to prevent bystander injuries

    Supervision will lead to bystander injuries is more likely.. Where do you think the remote that has just been released at high velocity is going to impact?

    A: empty area of wall.

    B: middle of screen,

    C: top of releaser's head,

    D: middle of supervising adult's face?

    Correct answer is all of the above.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    uh oh

    This must be when I threw my controller at the smug git beating me hands down at tekken

    its only an eye..... he's got another!!!!

    a/c cos the health and safety people are after my conkers!

  10. skellious

    hang on a minute....

    '"Children under the age of 10 should be supervised while video games are being played to prevent bystander injuries," says the doc.'

    Except that if no one was supervising them, there would be no bystanders to injure...

  11. wim


    696 people injured over a 5 year time span.

    Maybe they should look into the number of breakfast related injuries or stair climbing injuries and make sure that there is supervision for all these dangerous activities too.

  12. ScarabMonkey


    so that's 0.000005% of the population of the USA per year.... astounding.

  13. Tasogare

    Presumably these are either RSI-related or from people throwing the controller.


    (I only ever broke one that way, myself. MK1, vs. CPU Reptile. An SN ProgramPad. Poor thing.)

  14. Kubla Cant

    But who will supervise the supervisors?

    "Children under the age of 10 should be supervised while video games are being played to prevent bystander injuries".

    But it's not the children who are playing that get injured, it's the bystanders. When you supervise the children, you become a bystander, so watch out!

    More logical to insist that young children play video games in total isolation, the way nature intended. That way there's nobody there to get hurt.

  15. Wommit
    Paris Hilton


    "Americans sustained 696 "video game-related injuries" during the period 2004 to 2009."

    Out of a population of 250,000,000 less than 700 injuries occurred in 5 years.

    And this is a ****PROBLEM****?

    How about....

    no, what's the point.

    I bet there's been more Paris related injuries in that time frame. Won't someone think of Paris?

  16. James Hughes 1

    Sod that

    If my children dent each other while playing on the Wii -that's a lesson not to be so vigorous. And I am NOT standing around whilst they are playing, unless they let me have a go, which is unlikely.

    Still, at least once all Americans are carefully wrapped in cotton wool and unable to relate in the real world, it'll be easy to take them over....

    [Insert maniacal laugh here]


    [\end maniacal laugh]

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      @ James Hughes 1

      Take them over?!? Why?

      Better to build a big wall around them and pretend they're not there. They, likewise, can see this big wall and know there's nothing beyond it. Everybody's happy...

      1. W. Keith Wingate

        I represent that!

        You mean there's something outside the good ole US of A?

        Why didn't they ever teach us that in school? If there were something there, surely there'd be a reality TV show about it, no?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ heyrick

        "Take them over?!? Why?"

        Because once they're taken over, they can build the big wall themselves and teach of the deadly void that lies beyond it.

  17. James 5

    Lets see....

    ... "Americans sustained 696 "video game-related injuries" during the period 2004 to 2009"

    That's about 140 per year, out of a population of 310 million. That is 0.000047 percent of the population.

    Why is this news? There are probably much much larger numbers of Americans who injure themselves running, playing tennis, sneezing, changing light bulbs etc.!

  18. Lottie

    Flying pads?

    I reckon a fair amound of the non wii injuries would be from flying contol pads or similar.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    H&S crap

    Typical H&S crap. Just because a few hundred out of the millions of kids got slightly injured the doctor calls for 10yr olds to be monitored whilst playing a console in case they get injured. How long will a parent typically have to wait before their kids gets injured? Probably a few million years on the laws of probability and chance and what have you. Might as well play the lottery and use the winning to wrap your kid up in bubble wrap.

  20. Myopic Aardvark

    When I were a lad

    I would react to that sodding Sagat or M Bison defeating me soundly for the nth time in a row by throwing the Joypad at the floor in disgust.

    Never once was I or the joypad injured, nor the occassional friend, little brother or parent who also happened to be in the room.

    I do recall a time where my much older cousin reacting to being defeated by his 16 year old relative by twirling the joypad on its cable sling style and firing it against the wall, where it shattered into a million pieces.

    One of the pieces bounced off me, but I obviously forgot to inform anyone about this injury or I, too, could have been a statistic.

    Luckily, I'm a bit more precious about my PS3 joypads than I was about my Megadrive ones and they have never once been in danger of being thrown at the wall. Perhaps I'm just a but calmer in my old age or perhaps it's just the fact that despite having to repeat that bloody mission in Assassin's Creed 2 for the gazillionth time, I appreciate the expense to replace it these days.

    There was probably some sort of moral in that spiel, but I can't be arsed looking for it now.

  21. jake Silver badge

    The WHAT? US National Electronic Injury Surveillance System???!?

    "US National Electronic Injury Surveillance System"

    Never heard of it. And I suspect I'll never hear of it again.

    "Americans sustained 696 "video game-related injuries" during the period 2004 to 2009."

    Wow. All of 116 non-defined "injuries" a year, USA-wide. How many were injured by bicycles, skateboards and ice skates in the same time frame? I could ask the same of alcohol, tobacco, salt, sugar, fat, and the good old bathtub ...

    As much as I personally think that video games are a waste of time, minds and resources, methinks there are better places to spend research dollars.

  22. max allan

    What about school sports?

    I seem to recall what seemed to be a horrific number of injuries through supervised sports when I was at school. I have seen (during "games") :

    One death (yes really!)

    Several broken arms/legs/wrists/ankles

    One broken face (blood everywhere and no sign of a chin, courtesy of hockey stick)

    Several cricket ball/groin incidents

    I reckon only about half of us made it through undamaged, we were the half that normally just hid during games, being typical computery geeks.

    So, exactly what are these idiots complaining about?

    Really, video games are the safe option, trust me.

  23. Joe K

    All good fun...

    ...i split my jeans and nearly brained myself on the coffee table last night while diving during a frantic table tennis match on Sports Champions.

    Worth it though, i made the return.

  24. Michael C

    same watching sports, or even a good movie

    "bystander" injuries are anytime someone got whacked because someone else got excited. I've had a god friend get a broken nose when another flailed at an interception causing his team to loose. The video game was not the cause of the injury, it was the cause of excitement. You go on, tell Americans our kids can't get excited or let out positive emotions. I'm sure the body count in 20 years when these kids all go postal in shopping malls will appropriately outweigh the few stitches saved.

  25. Cyberhythm

    Before you ban all games

    Earlier this year junior got escorted to the park while the house was tidied. He proceeded to play football during which he fell backwards at such an angle that he broke his collar bone. Since then he has discovered blazing angels and not sustained any further injuries. I rest my case.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Real world injury

    Believe it can happen. I believe I am the only person to inflict severe injury during a Doom deathmatch. Back in about 1995 I was in a head to head deathmatch (back when head to head DMs were done over parallel ports). One ringing phone across the lab, plus my opponent tripping over his feet (and possibly said parallel cable) while racing to said phone resulted in a quick and brutal faceplant which knocked out his top two front teeth.

    Take your silly game mods that liven up the good ole BFG, until you've dished out a beat down that required an emergency trip to the dentist, you got nothin on me!

    (smiley face, because of the prologue to the story: I asked my opponent if he was ok. He just calmly stood up, stated "yea.... but my front teeth ain't!" and gave a big wide smile exposing what was left of his mangled incisors. Very chilling sight!)

  27. Petrea Mitchell
    Gates Halo

    Cause of bystander injuries

    I bet a majority of the "bystander injuries" had something to do with interrupting the gamer at a crucial moment during a boss battle.

    Angelic Bill because Halo probably was involved in several of these incidents.

  28. P. Lee

    Thought needed

    "Children under the age of 10 should not be playing video games." There, I fixed it.

    I know they'll end up being quite competent with computers and playing games, but why, as a parent, would I promote such products to them when I control their environment?

    Physical exercise, the ability to hold a train of thought for more than 30 seconds and to delay gratification are important skills. That's what books, board-games and 90 minute football matches are for. Injuries are always a possibility, but heart disease is a major killer.

    Icon: Old school parenting

  29. Tez

    So safer than biscuits then?

    500 injuries caused in Britain by biscuits in a country with a fraction of the population of the US...

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