Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young Children

March 30, 2009 -

A Michigan grandfather believes that grasping video game controllers can lead to finger deformities in children.

Mike Tomich, maintains that children under eight should not be allowed to play video games. He also writes that kids under five should not be permitted to use crayons: 

Children develop the injuries because their bones are too soft (not calcified hard) and readily yield to the strong repeating forces. The permanent and accumulative damage from these forces is silently inflicted without pain because of the numbing effects they deliver to the soft bones.

Tomich, author of Our Silent Epidemic, criticizes the U.S. Senate for failing to pass legislation that he believes will lead to study of the issue. Tomich wrote on his website in October:

We spoke with Senator Ted Kennedy's Office today and they said Senate bill S.948-CAMRA Act which was going to study children's health, including the effects of video gaming, will have to be submitted for the 8th time next year. Senator Lieberman's Office informed us that Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming) killed the bill for it's 8th year because he didn't want it passed... 

 

What could the video gaming industry possibly say to Enzi to prevent passage? ...

 

The Video Gaming Industry wants Senate bill S.948-CAMRA Act to go away forever.  Did you know that on 11-14-08 Microsoft Executives visited Washington and discussed children's finger injuries from video gaming and S.948 is now being stalled? The Nintendo Wii is      suppose [sic] to replace the damaging game controller, but the Wii is equally damaging.

Although there is a rheumatologist who apparently supports Tomich's theory, it does not appear to have gained much traction otherwise. Tomich describes himself as a "quality engineer" who "has dedicated his career to mechanical failure analysis."

Via: Gizmodo


Comments

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young

Dear Mr. Tomich,

Swinging a hammer 8 hours a day will also deform your hands. Should we stop building houses as well? Why not promote KNOWLEDGE instead of abstinance and suggest a way to mitigate the potential for hand injury related to repetitive motion injury?

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

So I guess we shouldn't let our kids use their hands at all until they're 8? If crayons are harmful then so are hotweels cars, baby dolls and don't even think about letting your kid throw a ball!

Me and most of the people I know have been using crayons long before they were five years old and as far as my piano and I can tell there is nothing wrong with my fingers.

Now if you will exuse me, I must go wrap my son's hands in foam to protect them from evil wax coloring utencils.

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young

This guy is a fucking moron.

The bones of a child ARE softer than an adults, but not enough that tapping buttons will deform them. Secondly, they're SUPPOSED to be softer (especially in the epiphyseal plate) because if they calcify (as in adulthood) the child wouldn't be able to grow. The epiphyseal plates only harden at age 18-22 so that bone growth ceases. If he thinks that tapping buttons will deform bones, than things like running (which places much larger strain on bones than tapping a button) will create a legion of legless toddlers. This obviously isn't the case.

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young

What total and utter bullshit. I've been playing games since I was in freaking preschool and I have beautiful, straight, agile fingers and hands. I used to play a lot too. I only have one deformity and was that happened when I used to play basket ball in highschool. I went for a funny rebound that hit the underside of the rim and popped my pinky out of its socket, it has never been straight since. Should we make it illegal for highschool students to play basket ball? 

 

What a douche.

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young

I've been playing video games since I was 6, I'm now 22 and my fingers are prefectly straight.

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young

shouldn't playing a musical instrament at a young age cause the same effect?

 

-- Currently doing a research project on the short-short term effects SWBF:2 has on peoples abilities to focus.

-- Currently doing a research project on the short-short term effects SWBF:2 has on peoples abilities to focus.

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young

If this guy had his way, he would scold the parents of Mozart for letting him play the piano.

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young

We're a tool-using species.  It's a hallmark of being a primate.  Our hands our built to grasp things in various different ways.  Now admittedly, repetitive actions at a very early stage of development can lead to bones growing a little differently, but not so much as to be labeled a "deformity."  I'd imagine a child would have to hold a controller 8+ hours a day to impair their hands.  And if that was the case, that's more a problem with parenting skills.

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young

I've been gaming since at least the days of the NES, and NES controllers hurt if you played too long, and my hands are just fine.

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

Any peer-reviewed research on the dangers of crayons, or is this guy just making it all up?

Gift.

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

I've been playing video games longer than I can remember.  My mom says that there was a controller in my hand as soon as I could manage to keep it there and play Sega Genesis games with my dad.  Strangely enough, my fingers are straight...

My left hand's fingers are longer than the right's, but that's from playing guitar, not video games.

You know, too much coloring can lead to other forms of art-making.  Crayons "deform" young hands, and a good many paints are toxic.  See what we're doing to the children!  They're making pretty things at the expense of their health!  Coloring is a gateway drug.

... Either that or this guy is insane.  You know, whichever you think is most likely.

 

 

 

-- Obi

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

Why don't we just ban children from playing period? Lock them away in a special chamber until they're 18 and protect them from all the bad pedophiles and dangerous playgrounds and nasty germs and vile, vile, evil video games?

 

Will that make these people happy?

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

People have tried that. They lock their kids up in a basement, cellar or closet to protect them. But in the end they get labeled as some kind of child abuser because they wanted to protect their kids from the dangers of the world.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

Well, I don't buy his claim. I was weend on Atari and grew up on Nintendo! My hands are perfectly healthy and free of deformities. In fact, I would have to say that my hands are one of the most valuable tools I own.

Don't believe me?

*gives the finger*

See, works fine. :P

Praetorian

"I've been told I'm the resident skeptic, but I wouldn't believe that."

http://www.myspace.com/pree_tawr_ee_uhn



Praetorian

"If you sit by the river long enough, you will see the body of your enemy floating by."

http://www.myspace.com/pree_tawr_ee_uhn

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

Children need to use their hands to build up their dexterity, their muscles aren't strong enough to grip a controller and deform their bones... lol

http://www.eliteownage.com/nice

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young

Now wait a second -- if you've got deformed fingers, then you probably can't handle a firearm properly, so isn't this a good thing?  Kids will be playing their murder simulators, and they'll want to go on a rampage, but they won't be able to because they can't pull the trigger!

Seriously, the anti-games backlash movement has to reel this guy in, he's getting off-message.  If nuts like this keep coming up out of the woodwork, why, the public might actually embrace gaming as "normal!"

---
The Mammon Philosophy

---
Fangamer

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young

You've got it all wrong.  The video game industry is intentionally causing childrens' hands to be deformed so that they'll work better with firearms.  That way they'll be more eager to pick up all of the murder simulators on the market, so that they can practice this wonderful use of their new, improved appendages!

***Homicide-free video gaming since 1972!***

P.S. to J.T. - I'm joking.  The industry isn't really doing this (imaginary) bodily reconfiguration on purpose.  These aren't the lawsuits you're looking for.  Move along...

***Homicide-free video gaming since 1972!***

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young

Think of it this way, if he does run with your idea you can call him out for using your fictional idea.

---

I think Thompson would be less of a problem if his money was replace with monolopy money

 

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

...I call bullshit on this claim. They showed one kid with messed up fingers and claim that every kid has hand problems now. When I first herad this, it made a bit of sense to me, since I have a young brother and isster who have been gaming since they were very young... But their hands are fine.

The reason I'm most skeptical is that the girl they showed has an odd deformity. Her fingers bend outward for one. Her thumbs bend all the way back, but I've met people who have that feature due to genetics, not pressing their thumbs flat against a N64 controller. It doesn't add up, since game controllers have you curl your fingers around them, hence the ergonormic design. I can't foresee a person being able to hold an n64 controller so tightly with just the tips of their fingers to the point where it would cause them to bend outwards... Which doesn't actually make any sense. Even if using a mouse and keyboard, your fingers are arched, not pressed flat against them.

I'm willing to admit that extensive videogame play can lead to hand pains, because I've experienced it, but the bone deformities this guy is talking about just aren't real. Children at the age of 4 don't have muscles strong enough to press so hard, for so long, that their bones would get damaged. Additionally, games that would require constant button mashing are easier to play with a looser grip.. In fact most games don't really play well at all when you have a vice-grip around the controller.

It just doesn't make any logical sense to me.

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young

...anything can lead to finger deformities in young children. Nine times out of ten, those common hobbies require repetitive use of your hands. (Like, i don't know, sports?) Highlighting the use of video games and crayons as though they're so much worse than anything else is a huge shot in the dark. Children play musical instruments too, and they can cause the same thing. Should they only be in chorus until adulthood to 'protect their self-esteem' or whatnot?

Didn't think so.

Though they ARE talking about kids under five years old... there is a difference there, albeit not that much.

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

My fingers get sure from playing videogames, same thing from reading books and also playing the Trombone.

Yet this old guy only focuses on videogames and crayons all because he see's kids use them.

Pathetic way of getting attention to be honest.

 

TBoneTony

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

A small note: My left hand is slightly deformed from learning cello and guitar from a young age. Where are the articles about those Dangers To Our Children(tm)?

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

Has someone told him that you can play games on computers... unless he thinks that keyboards and mouses can damage children's fingers too.

Now, I remember that when I started playing with a console pad, I was already 9-10. Previously, I used to play in video arcades, or at home with my MSX computer.

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young

 And his qualification is ??? crazy old grandfather ???  I'm sorry but a he-said she-said I-think argument holds about much water as a bucket with no bottom (using a phrase that an old person can understand).

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young

That he thinks that the Nintendo Wii is supposed to replace the damaging Microsoft XBox controller should be a dead giveaway.

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young

I find it funny is that this video is over a year old and the story is only being posted now. That, and it's 100% false.

When Jack Thompson runs his mouth, does anyone really care what he has to say anymore?

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young

It may be old, but do you have any links that show that this was proven false? or are you just stating your opinion on that matter? Just to clarify.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young

The fact that he's whining about crayons and climbing, pretty much shows that he's nothing more than a loon.

I think he's lying about Sen. Lieberman's office telling him that Sen. Mike Enzi(R-Wyoming) killed a research bill.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Solidarity for the Saints = No retreat, no surrender. 2013 = Saints' revenge on the NFL. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young

Okay, video games are one thing, but you do not try to take crayons away from children. That's just plain wrong.

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young

Apparently, the "coloring industry" is working hard to supress the truth about the dangers of crayons...

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young

That's not a red crayon, it's a blood simulator!

---
The Mammon Philosophy

---
Fangamer

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young

Funniest thing I've heard all day.  It's only 9-ish, but still.  Epic lulz.


-- Obi

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

This is a new one.  I've been playing games since I was 4 years old, and my fingers are just fine (admittedly, I started with the 2600 joystick).  I know that there are huge numbers of people who have played games since they were younger than 8 years old, and I have never heard of hand deformities.  

I like the portrayal of the games industry as being akin to the stereotypes of Big Tobacco.  Amusing.

Does this man have any real credentials to make his case more credible? His website is full of spelling and gramatical mistakes.  In fact, the homepage almost seems Timecube-esque.  It could be a joke.

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

Upon looking further, this guy is pretty much saying that just about any action (including sitting) can destroy and cripple a child's skeleton due to soft bones.  miketomich.com/Video-advertising_jpg.html In this "page" he singles-out games (and goes to say that they also damage children's ears), but at the bottom shows how rock-climbing is bad for kids.  Again, this page is full of spelling and grammatical errors. 

This is where it gets a little crazy- climbing?  How the hell are you going to tell a kid under 8 that they aren't allowed to climb on things?

This man says he is an "engineer" and that might make sense- from a strength of materials point of view.  But living tissue is much different, and I would pay more heed to these claims if it was spearheaded by a real pediatric doctor, less propaganda (sp?), and was done with fewer spelling/grammer errors.

Also, why is he not also going after musical insturments as well?  stringed insturements, piano, and others involve the same exact forces that game controllers supposedly do.  Why not paint the music industry as evil as the games and coloring industry are?  Plus, they damage children's ears with the noise the insturments make.

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

Does he go after books as well?

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

I guess the ESA is actually acting, but behind the scenes. Really, if that was true, the seX-Box scandal would of never happened.

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

April 1st IS just around the corner.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

Honestly, I don't think its as big a problem as they say.  A game controller is designed to be ergonomic, if it isn't comfortable people wont play with it.  If it is comfortable, then its not causing you to bend your fingers in any strange directions.

So basically, they say that using our hands for something its meant to do (use things) is harmful at a young age now?  Maybe, if it is used too much, but then again doing any one thing too much is bad.  Besides, if the controllers really did cause that kind of damage, then they must have been seriously gripping the thing to cause their fingers to bend like that.

Why is this guy talking about legislation though?  You don't need a bill passed to get something studied right?

Also, I would like to see some things involving a system that isnt a relic.  The N64 was crap, and so was its controller.  I find it ahrd to believe that an xbox or ps3 controller would cause that kind of damage, provided the kid itself isn't 1)gripping too hard, or 2)playing an unhealthy amount of time.

I bet most of the issue here can be resolved by addressing both those points.

Oh, final thought.  Maybe they're being forced to use their hands in strange ways because game controllers are not designed with 4 year olds in mind.  They are made to fit an adults\young adults hands, so the kids might have to do odd things like press shooulder buttons with the tips of fingers or stretch them to reach buttons or even just hold it correctly.  Do they make controllers designed for kids?

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

"Do they make controllers designed for kids?"

Hmm, Wiimote?

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

"The N64 was crap, and so was its controller."

I remember all those complaints people had with Mario Party 2.

It was a weird controller though. Most people I knew held it from the center and right handles. I thought that looked ridiculous and was confortable just holding it with the left and right handles, as normal looking controllers don't have an awkward middle thing poking out.

GameSnooper

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

They do make controllers that are smaller for smaller hands though.  I bought my 8 year old son a Mega Man X Gamecube controller that is a good bit smaller than usual, and he plays Smash Bros. with me just fine using that.  Just about every system now has a third party making the tiny versions of their controllers, except for the Wii (unless you count the GCN controllers still).

Zen aka Jeremy Powers
Panama City, Fl.

Zen aka Jeremy Powers
Editor and Host of the Zenspath Podcast (now on iTunes)
www.ZensPath.com
XBL: "PsychoticZen" PSN: "Zenspath"
Nintendo Network: "Psychoticzen", 3DS: "0860-3238-7260

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

He makes it sound like the goal is to hammer the buttons as hard as you can. No competent gamer pounds on them.

That's akin to a marksman holding his breath and yanking on the trigger.

------ Ago. Perceptum. Teneo.

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young

I've played games since I was 2 possibly younger (Im 27) and I've got nothing like that my hands are perfectly healthy. maybe there are other factors here like not getting enough milk or something.

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young

Kinda strange that they are blaming video games for hitchikers thumb dont you think.

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

An old person scaremongering about dreaded new technology.

Whoulda thunk it.

He's basically saying 'CONTROLLERS HURT KIDS HANDS! I HAVE NO REAL PROOF BUT IF YOU GIVE ME MONEY I'M SURE I CAN FIND PROOF!"

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

An old person scaremongering about dreaded new technology.

Like crayons.

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

Works with a spoon too

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

Crayola is corrupting our Children!!! Theres' red, and reds' the color of blood!

BAN CRAYONS!!!

______________________________ Because I have NO Life... :P I introduce the following. PSN User ID: FirebirdXR (Yes, I use that moniker often) Xbox Live ID: FirebirdLR (Don't bother, It's a Silver Membership) *Limited Time Only* I put both because I

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

I thought red was the color of Communism.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Author: Video Games Lead to Finger Deformities in Young ...

Heh, that reasoning is why some Crayola crayons got more politically correct color names.

GameSnooper

 
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