While new, interactive gaming systems can help get kids off of their backsides, they can injure the rest of them, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
To arrive at their conclusion, the AAP used statistics about video gaming injuries, including age of those injured as well as where on the body the injury occurred. To collect their data, they examined National Electronic Injury Surveillance System data, which sounds just a bit like the government has been placing cameras in homes to watch us slip, trip and fall, then record it for their amusement and data collection. Creepy.
What the "big brother" data told the AAP was that between Jan 1, 2004 and Jan 1, 2009, 696 video game injuries were reported. Of those, 92 were due to new "interactive" gaming devices such as the Nintendo Wii. While that's only around 1/7th of total injuries, there are a few important points to bear in mind. First, the harbinger of the new "interactive generation", the Wii, wasn't released until 2006. Second, technology such as the Wii took time to fully penetrate gaming culture, owing mostly to constrained supply.
What this means is that 92 out 696 injuries being interactivity-related is a damn large number.
The AAP found that injuries occurred in humans aged anywhere between 1 month and 86 years. Those using interactive technology were at a far greater risk to injure their shoulder, ankle, or foot than those using "ass on the couch" technology.
Still, both groups experienced "bystander injuries" , with the number of these types of injuries sustained highly favoring the interactive group.
Ouch: this could easily be a face.
This is completely believable - 4-player Wii tennis could easily injure two or more people in a rather spectacular fashion, but we're kind of stunned that non-interactive gaming had any bystander injuries at all.
That is some seriously rage-fuelled Halo playing right there.
Either that, or kids have been beating each other with controllers, a theory not totally out of the realm of possibility.
Regardless, the AAP advises that children under 10 be supervised whenever they are playing an interactive video game. For safest results, we would extend that to "anyone of high school or college age, who is a male trying to impress women or whenever alcohol is involved."
Also you, Grampa, who has never seen a "fancy doohickey" like the Wii controller and Nunchuk. Broken hips ahoy!