Gaming is a pretty safe activity, all things considered. You’re sitting in a chair or on a couch (unless you’re using VR or have a standing desk). The motions you’re making with a mouse or controller are usually minor ones (again, unless you’re in VR, or you’ve gotten extremely angry and throw something) so there’s not much chance of pulling a muscle or dislocating a shoulder or breaking something.
But we still occasionally get hurt while playing games. So our question this week: What’s your worst gaming-related injury?
Stevie came up with the question this week in our forum—you’ll find out why below—and we’d love to see your answers and hear about your injuries (hopefully minor ones!) in the comments below.
Stevie Ward: Ever since Star Wars Squadrons was announced it’s reminded me how much I loved EVE Valkyrie, so I’ve been getting back into VR, but I’ve got to say, I 100% forgot how likely I am to injure myself.
I was playing Beat Saber last night and I fell over my coffee table! I’ve also started working at my dinner table due to home working which is too close to my fridge to be helpful, and honestly I can tell its not a good set up because when I play League of Legends I get really bad neck pain after.
Chris Livingston: My injury is probably only severe because it happens at least three times a week. I stand up from my chair and my headset/earbuds are yanked off/out because the cable has no slack, because I’m standing on it or it’s hooked on something under my desk.
You’d think I’d learn. I mean, don’t lab rats quickly learn not to do things that hurt them? But I don’t. I’m not as smart as a lab rat. Having things suddenly and violently wrenched from my head or ears sucks and I should really stop typing this and finally order myself a wireless headset.
James Davenport: I’ve cut myself on so many cheap PC chassis. In the old life, I worked in IT cobbling together PCs and servers for some wacko tech company that paid their executives in trips to Dubai and company cars. So of course IT had no budget and high expectations laid upon our shoulders, which meant building computers out of older computers ad infinitum.
Because my employers didn’t value me, I didn’t value them, which meant I often got careless. While scraping together some shit server out of Dell and HP and Gateway (remember Gateway?) bits, I reached deep into the chassis and scraped a long line of skin off the length of my forearm. Nothing deep, thank goodness, but very long and very bloody. Those old shells almost felt designed for that exact purpose, the jagged, thin junkyard metal they were made of.
Dave James: I’ve never actually injured myself playing games, though I have taken out a few light bulbs thanks to Robot Recall in VR. But I have regularly sliced my fingers to shreds building new gaming PCs, all thanks to the inconceivably sharp parts of PC cases and unnecessarily spikey bits on the back of motherboards.
Alan Dexter: Half-Life: Alyx has been the cause of a few interesting home-based accidents. The subtle art of tossing a grenade has led to overhead lamp shade being smashed not once, but twice. Witnessing my son do exactly the same thing at roughly the same point of the game made me realise it clearly wasn’t my fault. I also managed to take a chunk out of a door while trying to integrate a grenade into the combine ranks, which hurt me far more than the door. VR, it’s dangerous.
Robin Valentine: I’m going to double cheat here, because the injury was from playing PlayStation VR rather than on a PC, and I wasn’t the one who got hurt…
I was reviewing VR shooter Farpoint in the living room, which came with a big stupid plastic gun peripheral. My girlfriend was sat nearby studying. Unbeknownst to me, as I was advancing across the alien planet shooting bug monsters, I was actually inching my way across the room her way, and turning to face her. Suddenly I got jumped by a boss monster, and swung my rifle around… only to discover that in real life, I’d whacked my girlfriend in the head with it. She was fine, but to this day I still feel guilty…
Harry Shepherd: Just my pride, I’m afraid. But while I’m pleasantly shocked that I’ve never injured myself playing games or even putting my current PC together, I’ve suffered multiplayer defeats so ignominious that I’m not sure what’s worse. That said, the floor of my home office is a mess of cables that could really use a tidy, so I’m not ruling out an accident on the horizon soon. The chances of that will only increase when I have the money, and space, to invest in VR. Perhaps I should get one of those ‘days without an accident’ signs for above my desk.
Andy Kelly: Google’s Tilt Brush is one of the best non-game VR things, letting you paint in 3D space. Once I was so into painting a big landscape scene that, while I was on my hands and knees painting individual stands of grass, I forgot where the boundary was and head-butted the fireplace. It was a small bump, leaving a scuff on the Vive. But the feeling of suddenly being jolted out of VR was much worse. I tend to get completely lost in virtual reality, and whenever I’m reminded of the world outside the headset, even if it’s just my elbow hitting the wall, I get a weird feeling of sensory whiplash.
Frindis: Not had any particularly injury body-wise, with the exception of stiff and hurting fingers every once in a while. I do keep spilling liquids over my keyboard and it seems I never really learn from those mistakes. I need a bigger table or perhaps one of those children cups that cant fall over.
Zloth: Worst I’ve had is a really sore shoulder. SOMEHOW, I got in the habit of pushing down kinda hard with my wrist on the wrist cushion of my mouse pad. No idea how I got into that habit or out of it, for that matter, but pushing down like that would really hurt on weekends.
Berious: Got a just visible scar on my right index finger from an unfortunate “opening clamshell too roughly” incident. Gaming adjacent injury (was some computer component). It’s just visible now in the right light. No one has ever asked but I plan to say it was a knife fight.
I’m glad packaging has moved away from the threat to life and limb design.
Rensje: When I play PS4 in the sitting room I have the habit of leaning forward towards the TV while I’m playing. I’m not aware that I’m doing it until I get a very bad neck pain the next day, because instead of looking forward I’ve sort of been looking up.
Also, I tend to drag the palm of my hand across the desk when I’m violently using my mouse, mostly in first-person shooters. Kind of akin to what Zloth said, except in my case I tend to wear down the skin on the palm of my hand after extended play, kind of like when you’ve been walking for a long stretches and your foot soles get sore. It’s the weirdest thing. I’ve tried adapting to other ways of gripping my mouse, like a claw grip for example, but it just feels so unnatural I can’t keep it up for more than a few minutes.