Gaming with RSI

Growing up on computers has given me many things. An unyielding desire for information. A need to know how things work. A love for figuring how else I can make it work once it does. A career. A passion. It’s also given me horrible eyesight. And carpal tunnel at 26.

Not as helpful as I hoped.

Not as helpful as I hoped.

I’m in my third week of (mostly) twelve hour days at work. Although I have a good keyboard, and my awesome vertical mouse, my carpal tunnel is flaring up. Half of my hand is tingly/numb  and my wrist is stabby.

When I get home from these long days, all I want to do is game. But here’s the problem, gaming is a trigger too. The PS3 controller is the worst (for me anyway) at either triggering, prolonging, or worsening a flare up. I tried to buy a different controller, the DreamGear Shadow ($30 on Amazon), with a more Xbox style configuration. But the narrow grips and small size just made it less bad – not better. I ended up purchasing Deus Ex: Human Revolution a second time just so I could play more than an hour at a time without pain.

I bought the DreamGear controller because it seemed like it was either that, or the $99.99 MadCatz MLG controller. And for something I wasn’t sure was going to solve my problem, $100 seemed like a lot to spend. I tried some Googling and couldn’t find any help for gamers with RSI or carpal tunnel (to be fair, I don’t know the difference between the two. My doctor diagnosed me with the latter). Other than “take breaks” and “stretch” that is. There are a few hardware options for PC gamers, but I couldn’t find anything for console gamers.

I can’t be the only one who runs into this problem. I wonder if companies have researched ergonomic controllers and what we’ve got is as good as it can be. Or if this is just an ignored market. So readers, have any of you ran into this? Have you found a controller that helps?

6 Responses to “Gaming with RSI”
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