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Shock! MSN's Bad Vibes on PlayStation!
March 18th 2002, 16:33 CET by m0nty

In an inspired piece of cross promotion for the Xbox, the health section of MSN has a story about a poor young lad who developed "hand-arm vibration syndrome". Michael Smith MD (he must know, he's a doctor) breathlessly reports that the diagnosis points to the fact that the 15-year-old boy misspent his youth using the PlayStation's dual shock controller.

But the boy's symptoms started after prolonged use of a home video game system -- Sony Playstation. He spent up to seven hours a day playing the game. That alone could cause some ill effects on his health, but in addition, he enjoyed driving games with the vibration mode activated on the hand-held controller.

The boy's symptoms are typical of what's often seen in cases of hand-arm vibration syndrome some adults get on the job. Due to lawsuits, tools have been developed that limit vibrations and workplace improvements have been made.

This might be seen as a straight case of corporate sabotage against Sony, except Microsoft's Xbox also has a controller with a "built-in 'rumble' feature to increase gaming realism".

Is this type of injury, as the story suggests, "more common than we may think"? Should the quacks have discarded the obvious explanation that the kid had been overusing the handlotion Joker-style, like any hot-blooded young male? What other injuries do these infernal Japanese-designed controllers cause? Personally, I used to get the most awful blisters from the PS1 controller, so callouses must be a constant problem for hardcore players. Are we raising a generation of deformed and misshapen dwarves with an allergy to sunlight?

BTW, I am ashamed to admit that I stole this link from Player2Player.net, the #1 site in gaming for whiny MMOG gamers to beseech Mythic to buy them a pony.
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Home » Topic: Shock! MSN's Bad Vibes on PlayStation!

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#1 by None-1a
2002-03-18 16:35:52
First post (m0nty's request)
#2 by Ashiran
2002-03-18 16:41:45
Keyword in above topic: "Overuse"
Too much of something is always bad. So I see little reason to take any action towards those kinds of controllers.

Speaking the odd grammer that turns out this way.
#3 by godZero
2002-03-18 16:52:26
godzero@gmx.de
Who voted THIS topic in, dammit?
#4 by Matthew Gallant
2002-03-18 17:00:26
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
How exactly is anyone supposed to discuss this? I don't see the controversy.

Marketing is a crutch for mediocrity and a handicap to excellence.
#5 by Greg
2002-03-18 17:07:19
Ouch, my hand hurts. It is all because of Sony, they made my hand hurt. WAAAAAHHHH!

On a side note, has any woman ever sued a company because the vibrator she used gave her some "vibration syndrome"?

Greg

-Swallow it all and be glad, for a shilling I've paid and a shilling's worth I'll be having!
#6 by Greg
2002-03-18 17:08:40
m0nty, I've found that Street Fighter thumb is a rite of passage, not a sue-able disorder.

Greg

-Swallow it all and be glad, for a shilling I've paid and a shilling's worth I'll be having!
#7 by Ryslin
2002-03-18 17:18:38
(waves piece of paper)
vibrator syndrome...

would that be having constant orgasms with any vibration..?


or would that be unable to have normal orgasms with anything other than vibration..


either way the vagina is not the wrist..

would be better to ask about carpal tunnel and masterbation.

anyway

BATPHONE!
#8 by m0nty
2002-03-18 17:20:28
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
Well Rip, I mean MattG, you could start by giving us your experiences with console controllers made for five-year-old's fingers. I don't know, maybe you have small hands, so it's not a problem for you.
#9 by WeeMadArthur
2002-03-18 17:21:46
smarteyman@interia.pl
Can Joker sue his wang?
#10 by Ryslin
2002-03-18 17:23:24
(waves piece of paper)
Only if his wang was seperate from himself.

knowing Joker that could be normal.. but you cannot sue yourself......
or can you?

Mamma's don't let your Google's grow up to be Yahoo's!
#11 by m0nty
2002-03-18 17:26:11
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
Given America's overly litigious legal culture, I can easily see a case like this threatening enough damages to make the console manufacturers think twice about including shock features in their next generation controllers - not to mention the prospect of mass recalls if the court cases get too damaging. So here we have the two extremes: the PainStation, harbinger of self-inflicted stigmata-like injuries, and vibration syndrome, whereby the dreaded McDonald's coffee saga is writ small in the gaming world. Which will win? Discuss.
#12 by Leslie Nassar
2002-03-18 17:31:25
http://departmentofinternets.com
This might be seen as a straight case of corporate sabotage against Sony, except Microsoft's Xbox also has a controller with a "built-in 'rumble' feature to increase gaming realism".

And except for the fact that it's a WebMD article, not an MSN article, which in turn was based on an article in the British Medical Journal.  It must be a conspiracy -- Illuminati-style!

Should the quacks have discarded the obvious explanation that the kid had been overusing the handlotion Joker-style, like any hot-blooded young male?

Yeah, what would those idiots know about this kind of disorder?  It's not like they're doctors at the Royal Liverpool Childrens Hospital who specialize in paediatric rheumatology.

One last thing, those quacks at the Department of Labor say you can get it from using a power drill, so is it really so far-fetched to suggest one could get it from a vibrating controller?

i like monkeys.  are you a monkey?
#13 by Warren Marshall
2002-03-18 17:34:09
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
One last thing, those quacks at the Department of Labor say you can get it from using a power drill, so is it really so far-fetched to suggest one could get it from a vibrating controller?

You're going to compare the vibrations from a PS2 controller to a jack hammer?

I am a magnificent three toed sloth.
#14 by crash
2002-03-18 17:35:21

But the boy's symptoms started after prolonged use of a home video game system -- Sony Playstation. He spent up to seven hours a day playing the game.

um. if you do anything seven hours a day, it's going to fuck you up. well, besides sleep. christ. one interesting note to this "case"--i guess the kid in question didn't know you could turn off the vibration/shock/whatever effects, even though it's on the config screens and in the little booklet that comes with every game. (that's the first thing i do, personally--i hate rumble paks and vibro-massage units... bleh.) but yeah, i could see how those'd be easy to overlook, since he spent so little time with the games. guess he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer. i'd see they'd have a case maybe if you couldn't turn the thing off. but you can. so the only case here, really, is determining how much of an idiot the kid is.

days like these... and then on the other side of the coin, this.

- if you can laugh at it, you can live with it.
- "Hey, how 'bout this: fuck you." -LPMiller
#15 by Dev
2002-03-18 17:39:23
admin@techillimit.net
Good one Microsoft, tell us the story about Goldylocks and the 3 bears again.. pwease?!?! ;|

It seems like the console kingdom just breeds this kind of whiny, "I want it on a platter" mentality.
(ya know, the half-life whiner mentality in PC gaming.)
It is sad though, to see that the companies that supply these systems are starting to sound just like their fanbase.  How scary.

"If it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic." -- Lewis Carroll
#16 by Dev
2002-03-18 17:41:43
admin@techillimit.net
Oh well, WebMD article. But carried by Microsoft.. hrm.

"If it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic." -- Lewis Carroll
#17 by Foodbunny
2002-03-18 17:44:33
foodbunny@attbi.com http://www.foodbunny.com
I don't know if a lawsuit has been brought up for it, but I know that there are women who claim that using a vibrator too often decreases sensativity and possibly damages nerve endings down there.

"Our busts get bigger and bigger because they're bursting with great expectations for the future!  The he`t`nd p`rrhnn vd hnid in our chests is called life!"
#18 by Leslie Nassar
2002-03-18 17:44:37
http://departmentofinternets.com
You're going to compare the vibrations from a PS2 controller to a jack hammer?

No, I'm comparing it to a power drill, that's why i said "power drill" you silly monkey :P  It doesn't seem to be related to the intensity of the vibration, but the existence of vibration in hand-held tools.  That's why you see pneumatic jack hammer listed next to an electrical grinder in the linked DoL article.

I'm not a doctor, I'm just saying that it's there might well be something to the story.  Should we discard articles like that because they might be construed as being anti-games, or should the claims be investigated and changes made where appropriate?

i like monkeys.  are you a monkey?
#19 by EvilAsh
2002-03-18 17:47:10
evilash@eviladam.com www.eviladam.com
http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1103-861947.html

You want controversey? read that one.. seems Ms got all pissy cause Sony was allowing Cebit attendees to play some new games...and Filed a complaint which forced Sony to remove their 27 ps2s from the show.. The controversy stems from the fact Sony had done this at the last 3 cebit shows without problems.. But there was a Cebit rule ..and unenforced one against this. And Ms said they never complained.. Although Cebit officials confirmed that it was MS who made a big issue about this.
All the while they were displaying the xbox. Heh.

I got my opinion  on this little issue.. I wonder what you guys think.
#20 by Warren Marshall
2002-03-18 18:12:21
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
I'm not a doctor, I'm just saying that it's there might well be something to the story.  Should we discard articles like that because they might be construed as being anti-games, or should the claims be investigated and changes made where appropriate?

No, what we should do is focus on the real issue ... this kid played games for 7+ hours a day.  Doing anything 7 hours a day is going to hurt you in some way (as crash already pointed out).  Pointing the finger at Sonys controllers is blaming the symptom, not the disease.

I am a magnificent three toed sloth.
#21 by Caryn
2002-03-18 18:13:32
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
would be better to ask about carpal tunnel and masterbation.


I've heard about a phone sex operator suing her employer for just that. Don't know if that's urban legend or not; can't remember where I heard it.

"When I'm old, I don't want them to say of me, 'she's so charming.'  I want them to say, 'be careful, I think she's armed.'"  - G. Stoddart
#22 by Foodbunny
2002-03-18 18:15:25
foodbunny@attbi.com http://www.foodbunny.com
I don't like rumble controllers in the first place.  They distract me too much from what I'm actually doing and using one for any appreciable length of time leaves me with Kung-fu Grip.

"Our busts get bigger and bigger because they're bursting with great expectations for the future!  The he`t`nd p`rrhnn vd hnid in our chests is called life!"
#23 by Hugin
2002-03-18 18:23:28
lmccain@nber.org
Eh.  The kid played a ridiculous amount of time.  And the vibration can be turned off. I sympathize with RSI/Carpal tunnel sufferers, but please.
#24 by Leslie Nassar
2002-03-18 18:28:53
http://departmentofinternets.com
No, what we should do is focus on the real issue ... this kid played games for 7+ hours a day.  Doing anything 7 hours a day is going to hurt you in some way (as crash already pointed out).  Pointing the finger at Sonys controllers is blaming the symptom, not the disease.

I don't think they're pointing the finger at Sony, from the BMJ article;

Children spend long periods playing domestic computer games. The seven hours a day that our patient reported is excessive and exceeds the manufacturer's recommendation, but we must assume that this is not an uncommon occurrence.

Obviously a huge part of the problem is with parents being unable or unwilling to control the amount of time their children spend playing videogames, but should the addictive nature of videogames share part of that blame?

Semi-related; an article about 'Nintendinitis'.

i like monkeys.  are you a monkey?
#25 by Foodbunny
2002-03-18 18:31:57
foodbunny@attbi.com http://www.foodbunny.com
Do videogames have an addictive nature or do people with addictive personalities latch on to videogames the same way they latch on to other things?

"Our busts get bigger and bigger because they're bursting with great expectations for the future!  The he`t`nd p`rrhnn vd hnid in our chests is called life!"
#26 by WeeMadArthur
2002-03-18 18:51:47
smarteyman@interia.pl
Caryn:
I've heard about a phone sex operator suing her employer for just that. Don't know if that's urban legend or not; can't remember where I heard it.

From our good friend, Mr. Google
#27 by crash
2002-03-18 19:00:44
gosh, a masturbation lawsuit story on SALON?!

who'd'a thunk it.

:|

- if you can laugh at it, you can live with it.
- "Hey, how 'bout this: fuck you." -LPMiller
#28 by None-1a
2002-03-18 19:09:46
No, I'm comparing it to a power drill, that's why i said "power drill" you silly monkey :P  It doesn't seem to be related to the intensity of the vibration, but the existence of vibration in hand-held tools.


Not totaly true. From the article you linked
The length of the initial symptom-free period of vibration exposure (i.e., from first exposure to the first appearance of a white finger) is known as the latent interval. It is related to the intensity of the vibration - the shorter the latent period, the more severe the resulting VWF if vibration exposure continues.


A few other important things to note about the article. It states the frequency of the vibration is a factor, and that VWF is a result of poor blood supply to the fingers.

the dual shock has to effect (a high and low intensity vibration, duh it wasn't called dual shock for nothing). Both effects aren't one all the time (unlike power tools), and the one most likly to cause the problem is one even less. Why was this kids blood flow to his hands low enough to cause the problem in a relativly short time considering how vastly different the controller is from the always on higher then even the high effect power tools?
#29 by Leslie Nassar
2002-03-18 19:14:48
http://departmentofinternets.com
See, that's why I'm not a doctor.

i like monkeys.  are you a monkey?
#30 by Bezzy
2002-03-18 20:42:02
painberry@hotmail.com http://www.antifactory.org
Do videogames have an addictive nature or do people with addictive personalities latch on to videogames the same way they latch on to other things?

The latter. Enjoyment of the game is outside the domain of the designer, as is how people deal with enjoyment (repetition or isolation from the source of enjoyment).

Sick and tired and not impressed with shoehorning art into a profitable industry.
#31 by The_Joker
2002-03-18 20:43:30
http://www.jackinworld.com
#9 by WeeMadArthur:

Believe me when I say my wang would not hesitate to sue me if I gave it any reason to.

#10 by Ryslin:

but you cannot sue yourself......or can you?


Well from what I've seen and heard so far about the legal system in the USA, if there isn't a law against it, it most certainly HAS GOT TO BE possible.

Joker, Ph.D. Procedural Assholian Behaviour, Pedophilosopher
- All your ass are belong to my wang Jafd. Prepare to are penetration.
#32 by Bezzy
2002-03-18 20:45:26
painberry@hotmail.com http://www.antifactory.org
Oh wait... that was one of those questions that didn't need answering (whassat called again?) In other news, I have started doing yet another web comic!

Sick and tired and not impressed with shoehorning art into a profitable industry.
#33 by Bezzy
2002-03-18 20:47:26
painberry@hotmail.com http://www.antifactory.org
I meant ^ comic

Sick and tired and not impressed with shoehorning art into a profitable industry.
#34 by Bezzy
2002-03-18 20:49:46
painberry@hotmail.com http://www.antifactory.org
RETORICAL. That's it!

Sick and tired and not impressed with shoehorning art into a profitable industry.
#35 by Gabe
2002-03-18 21:14:57
http://www.dartpublishing.com
Or perhaps rhetorical?
#36 by The_Joker
2002-03-18 21:23:15
http://www.jackinworld.com
#31 by The_Joker:

#10 by Ryslin:


but you cannot sue yourself......or can you?



Well from what I've seen and heard so far about the legal system in the USA, if there isn't a law against it, it most certainly HAS GOT TO BE possible.


And think of it, would any lawyer refuse to represent you if you wanted to sue yourself? Honestly, do you think they would refuse?? "Wait a minute, so you're saying you want to sue yourself? And you're willing to pay me real money to represent you? ... *thinking* fuck yes! */thinking* ... Aallrighty then. Say, do you perhaps have any relatives with the same kind of mental pro..err, i mean, who would also like to sue themselves, anyone or anything at all? I could throw in a volume discount."

And since you're sueing yourself anyway, it would not surprise me if that same lawyer would be willing to handle the defence AND prosecution.

lawyer: (to client) Isn't it in fact true that you have a 1 inch penis?!?!
lawyer: (to judge) I object Your Honor! I have no right to be asking my client that question, it's totally irrelevant.

Hulka should probably use this idea for his next script.

Joker, Ph.D. Procedural Assholian Behaviour, Pedophilosopher
- All your ass are belong to my wang Jafd. Prepare to are penetration.
#37 by LPMiller
2002-03-18 21:23:17
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
That comic I'm sure would be quite enjoyable, should I ever get the coke bottle glasses required to read it....geez, my eyes!

The Suns rays are made up of many atoms.
#38 by Bezzy
2002-03-18 21:27:36
painberry@hotmail.com http://www.antifactory.org
I know, i know.
Less writing next time. Sorry very much.

Sick and tired and not impressed with shoehorning art into a profitable industry.
#39 by Bezzy
2002-03-18 21:32:06
painberry@hotmail.com http://www.antifactory.org

Or perhaps rhetorical?

DEFINITELY less writing from now on, just in general.

Sick and tired and not impressed with shoehorning art into a profitable industry.
#40 by Matthew Gallant
2002-03-18 21:43:25
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
I like the comics and I'm all for the non-standard lettering, but it could be a bit more legible. What is an advocee?

Marketing is a crutch for mediocrity and a handicap to excellence.
#41 by Bailey
2002-03-18 21:45:47
Caryn

I've heard about a phone sex operator suing her employer for just that. Don't know if that's urban legend or not; can't remember where I heard it.

Salon article aside, this is toeing the line between urban legend and scam. I know girls who work the phones, and they flat-out state every orgasm is faked. No one ever complains, much less notices. If this was an actual litigation, either the woman was a compulsive sex addict, or conducted a sham lawsuit. Imagine that. In america! In Florida, no less!

What are the odds?!

Bezzy

Heh, the Warcraft one was pretty spot-on, gave me a chuckle. Nothing wrong with lots of writing, but it has got to be more legible.

I have transferred all my self-loathing onto you.
#42 by Bailey
2002-03-18 21:46:32
Mattg

What is an advocee?

Reciprocal to an advocater?

I have transferred all my self-loathing onto you.
#43 by The_Joker
2002-03-18 21:53:00
http://www.jackinworld.com
And why the fuck does jafd have a picture of a dog banging a baby as its avatarpic??? It's really disturbing.

Joker, Ph.D. Procedural Assholian Behaviour, Pedophilosopher
- All your ass are belong to my wang Jafd. Prepare to are penetration.
#44 by "Anonymous"
2002-03-18 22:02:54
Quote:
[And why the fuck does jafd have a picture of a dog banging a baby as its avatarpic??? It's really disturbing.]



Look who's typing...   ;)





the male battle-dwarf
#45 by "Anonymous"
2002-03-18 22:05:07
heh heh...


I just saw your lil' animated HARASSMENT link...

are you gay?*






The Male Battle-Dwarf


* not gonna hang around for an answer
#46 by Bezzy
2002-03-18 22:48:39
painberry@hotmail.com http://www.antifactory.org

What is an advocee?

I'm sorry. Truely. I will fix it.
I'm really screwed. I'm looking to get a temporary job at PCGamer UK, but it is becoming plainly obvious that I cannot write, even to their standard.

Anyone feel like putting some capital into my game so that I can skip the whole "get a job and dev part time" lifestyle?

Sick and tired and not impressed with shoehorning art into a profitable industry.
#47 by Shadarr
2002-03-18 23:08:31
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
I don't get it.
#48 by Martin
2002-03-18 23:29:53
http://www.mocol.nu
Well, Bezzy... Either you've been out of the loop for quite some time or you're talking about an unknown game company named "Epic Megagames". 8)

-- Martin
"Burger me!"
#49 by Bezzy
2002-03-18 23:31:11
painberry@hotmail.com http://www.antifactory.org
The monkeys attacked BEFORE the name change.

Sick and tired and not impressed with shoehorning art into a profitable industry.
#50 by Bezzy
2002-03-18 23:31:33
painberry@hotmail.com http://www.antifactory.org
IN AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE

Sick and tired and not impressed with shoehorning art into a profitable industry.
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