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My leg hurts

I am injured. This will not be an incredibly surprising to many people, as my ability to snap the extremities of my body, or at least bang them about in ways that causes injuries with latin names, is well known. However, this time I have added to my normal clumsiness and illness finding talents a new twist, and one that has only really been a matter of time before its appearance – all of my injuries were caused directly by playing computer games.

My roster:

  • Left leg, Sciatica. Game: Fallout 3. Who knew that sitting motionless, apart from the occasional spasmodic hand movement to unload yet another hunting rifle shell into the face of a Mirelurk, for upwards of 7 hours at a time on a sofa that rigidly enforces a text book bad posture would cause someone injury? My physiotherapist, it seems, who shook her head and tutted as I explained my addiction to the buggiest game in living memory. I now have 7 exercises to do on a daily basis in an attempt to loosen up my left buttock, the tenseness of which is throttling my sciatic nerve in a way that can only really be described as ‘fucking painful’. I generally forget to do my exercises. I am a bad person.
  • Right leg, bruised foot. Game: Wii Fit. Having been diagnosed with sciatica (and not only the self internet diagnosis, which also involved a slipped disc and a potential knee cancer – hypochondria FTW!) I decided to compound the issue by buying Wii Fit. At first there was no issue, as I worked my way through onscreen yoga poses and did step aerobics, watched intently by the onscreen Mii-avatars of my entire family, whose vacant faces displayed a seemingly patronising look of encouragement. However, when I stepped off the balance board, put a wii-mote in my pocket and went for a virtual run I added to my continued catalogue of miseries. Who knew that running barefoot on a thin carpet covering a concrete floor could cause a debilitating injury? My physiotherapist certainly did, picking it out as a Wii-fit injury within moments of me limping into the hospital last week for my appointment. Luckily it seems that she is a newly emancipated gamer, loving her Wii-fit and Wii-sports to the extent that she had injured herself in an identical fashion. Rather than talk about my (rather fine) legs we rushed through the physiotherapy bit of the session and focused on the important ‘what games can be considered MAN games’ as her husband’s birthday was coming up and she wanted some inspiration…
  • Left wrist, RSI like agony. Game: Puzzle Quest. My most recent injury and almost healed after a night of not sleeping on it. This is what happens to you when you decide to have a ‘quick go’ with a previous addiction and find your self curled into an uncomfortable ball, wrist jammed into the sofa at right angles, cradling your Gameboy in a claw like grip 2 hours after you were meant to be tucked up in bed waiting for the next morning’s glurgle-pluch-beep that indicates that coffee is waiting for you in the kitchen. It really hurt.

One useful thing about that final injury is that I can at least pin the blame for it on the evil that is Game.net’s mail order service. Tied in with reward points and offering free delivery, I pre-ordered a copy a of Mad World, the new Sega produced ultra-violent Running Man-alike, which they sent in the middle of last week hopefully for a release day (Friday 20th March) delivery. It is now Tuesday of the next week and I still haven’t had a chance to jam upwards of 20 road signs through the head of a single person. There is a gaping hole in my gaming life that can only be filled by road signs. Naughty Game.net, no biscuit. Or orders from me again. Especially as I have a branch of Game about 5 minutes walk away…

So, I now limp from place to place, occasionally waving my walking stick (a present to myself for my birthday, and pretty much useless for my current injuries, making me feel more than slightly a sham for having it. At least it did get me a seat on the tube on the one time I took it outside of the house. I need to get braver, take it with me and then wave it at the yoof. Although, as I live in Ealing our yoof is hidden away from the normal people by PCSOs with stern looks and exclusion orders. As is right and proper) at people I can see out of the window. My mother takes great delight in telling her friends that her son has been crippled by computer games and picks out Rock Band and my fake plastic drums as the aggressor. But as I repeatedly tell her this is far from the truth – Rock Band could never hurt me, apart from maybe break my heart.

Note to self: Buy new drum pedal, the old one is snapped in half and if I don’t start playing again soon then Rock Band will run off with someone else. That can’t happen.

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