July 24, 2007

The new Atari Thumb

Filed under: Uncategorized — Brian @ 7:05 pm

When I was young, and my Dad bought us an Atart 2600, I played Asteriods and Adventure and Breakout until my firing thumb was sore. We called it “Atari Thumb.”

Years later, it became “Nintendo Thumb,” and was worse than Atari Thumb. See, the Atari joystick was operated with two hands, but only one of them pressed a button. The Nintendo controller had two firing buttons for your right thumb, and a four-direction pad for your left. Nintendo Thumb was an ambidextrous affair.

If you played too long, too soon, you’d actually get blisters. It was important to develop a callus.

Skip forward 18 years. My little brother has a Nintendo Wii, and I went to visit him this past weekend. The Wii (pronounced “Wee”) is different. Instead of a joystick with buttons, it has two wireless hand-held controllers with accelerometers and buttons. This is called the “wiimote.” And your character in the game (whose appearance you can spend far too much time tweaking) is called a “Mii.” You play the games by making real motions. To play tennis, you swing your arm as if the Wiimote were a racket.

To pitch a baseball, pretend you’re throwing a ball. There is a tether on the wiimote to save your TV if you forget you’re pretending.

There’s boxing, too. If you don’t normally box, let me warn you that it calls on muscles in the shoulders that don’t much contribute to typing.

So (I learned after the fact) you should warm up before you play Wii for too long.
Or else you will end up like me. Quite sore, and wondering if you’ve done any damage.

Atari Thumb affected one hand.
Nintendo Thumb affected both.
And this new one – what else can you call it but an injuWii – continues the spread.



  1. I’ve got one of those! Love the term injuWii! That’s classic!

    Comment by Rach — July 25, 2007 @ 2:59 pm

  2. Wish I had that problem. No Wii for mii. ;)

    Comment by Stephen — September 2, 2007 @ 12:28 pm

  3. I wuv the Wii, but I’m not getting one, either. At least not for now.

    Comment by Brian — September 2, 2007 @ 6:52 pm

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