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Nintendo thumb

Nintendo thumb, known also as gamer's grip, Nintendinitis, PlayStation thumb and similar names, is a medical condition classified as a form of repetitive strain injury (RSI). The symptoms are the blistering, paraesthesia and swelling of the thumbs, mainly through use of the D-pad, though any finger can be affected. This can lead to stress on tendons, nerves and ligaments in the hands, and further onto lateral epicondylitis ("tennis elbow"), tendinitis, bursitis and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

Additional recommended knowledge

Some of the symptoms are described under trigger finger.

The condition was first highlighted when the Nintendo games consoles were released, leading to reported cases of RSI, primarily in children (being one of the primary audiences of videogames). Later, the controllers for the Sony PlayStation and PlayStation 2 were noted as causing the condition. However, due to the shape, size and extended use of game controllers it is not limited to just those specific ones and can occur in users of any gamepad or joystick. Similar problems have also been with the use of mobile phones, and text messaging in particular.

In June 2005, the South African Medical Journal published a report by Safura Abdool Karim, a 13-year-old who had investigated such problems occurring in people at her school.


  • Thompson, Dennis. "Video Game Victims" at Forbes, 6 May 2005. Retrieved 26 June 2005.
  • "Girl probes 'PlayStation thumb'" at BBC News, 23 June 2005. Retrieved 26 June 2005.

External links

  • "Computer games pose injury risk" at BBC News, 23 December 1999.
  • "'Nintendo Thumb' Points to RSI" at Wired News, 3 December 1998.
  • "Computer games cripple kiddies" at The Register, 12 December 2000.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Nintendo_thumb". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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