A new study published in medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine claims that a 29-year-old man tore a tendon in his thumb due to excessive play of free-to-play, match-three mobile puzzler, Candy Crush Saga.
According to the San Diego-based doctors, the right-handed man claims to have played “all day for 6 to 8 weeks” using his left hand while performing other tasks throughout the day. He also claims that he didn’t feel any of what you’d expect to be building pain prior to the tear.
His doctors say that one of the two tendons in his left thumb was torn, and that the injury was repaired via surgery. And they seem pretty convinced of the case, even titling the study, “Tendon Rupture Associated With Excessive Smartphone Gaming.” They suggest that the “highly pleasurable” sensation of playing may have muddled his ability to recognize pain prior to the proper tear.
And the doctors actually see an upside to this example, as far as subduing pain is concerned. “Research might consider whether video games have a role in clinical pain management and as nonpharmacologic alternatives during uncomfortable or painful medical procedures,” reads the study. “They may also have a role in reducing stress. It may be interesting to ascertain whether various games differ in their ability to reduce the perception of pain.”
However, they also concede that play to this extent is dangerous and unhealthy. “The potential for video games to reduce pain perception raises clinical and social considerations about excessive use, abuse, and addiction,” the study notes. “Future research should consider whether pain reduction is a reason some individuals play video games excessively, manifest addiction, or sustain injuries associated with video gaming.”
What we really want to know: how much money did this man spend on Candy Crush Saga? There’s no way he played all day for a couple of months without dropping a fortune.