It may seem cute to us, but there's still a world where Nintendo's consoles are just "a Nintendo" and the Wii is a hot Christmas gift that will bring danger and injuries to festive living rooms. Yes, it's that time again, British tabloids are asking "is a Nintendo a safe Christmas present?". Let's not mess around here, incontinence is a very real danger.
So, what could possibly trigger more coverage about the dangers of Nintendo gaming, particularly the Wii? It's thanks to some Dutch researchers that published their findings in the British Medical Journal, scouring two medical databases and finding 38 cases of injuries, some of which date way back to the good-old days. There's the case of two children suffering from incontinence after playing Super Mario Bros. for too long, and a case of 'Nintendo neck' after a youngster played their Game Boy for an excessive amount of time. Plenty of the cases refer to the Wii, of course, with severe instances including strokes, surgery for a hernia and a "massive chest bleed" for a player that got carried away and fell while playing Wii Sports. There are, of course, less serious instances of players picking up muscle injuries while waggling their way to glory.
Dr Maarten Jalink of the University of Groningen, who led the research team, said the following:
Overall, a Nintendo is a relatively safe Christmas present.
However, those who receive such a gift should not swing the controller too hard, they should be careful about where they play, and they should take frequent breaks.
Nintendo was even moved to supply a statement to the tabloid in question, The Daily Mail:
The Wii video game system is often credited with getting people up off the couch. But, as with any activity, people playing the Wii system, or any other Nintendo product should pace themselves and not overdo it.
Nintendo is committed to the safety of its customers and always includes comprehensive health and safety guidelines with its products. Provided these are followed correctly, a user should be able to enjoy their Nintendo product safely.
While there are a few cases where serious injuries occurred, it's humorous that these stories are still emerging, even focusing on the Wii in a time when it's barely selling in notable numbers due to its last-gen status; not many prominent Wii U games require you to swing your arms like a maniac, either. Nintendo is often the victim of these scare stories — the headline says "several life-threatening conditions can be triggered by your console" — and though we may find it funny there are possibly thousands of readers of these newspapers that'll take these articles seriously, even if they're wildly out of context.
If you do play your 'Nintendo', though, please be careful.