A farewell to arms

by Steve Morales, CBCNews.ca

Research shows that video game play can cause vision problems, carpal tunnel syndrome and even seizures. Japanese company Atlus Co. tried to offer a whole new paradigm in video game-related injuries but has now backed off with a relatively low casualty count.

The company announced Tuesday it would recall all 150 of its "Arm Spirit" arm-wrestling machines after complaints that three people broke their arms battling the machine.

Photo: The Atlus. Co. arm wrestling arcade game machine "Arm Spirit". (AP/Atlus Co.)

Atlus spokesperson Ayano Sakiyama expressed surprise, since "even women should be able to beat it."

"We think that maybe some players get overexcited and twist their arms in an unnatural way," she said.

The company was investigating the incidents and checking the machines for possible malfunctions.

Players of "Arm Spirit" advance through 10 levels, grappling with a French maid, a drunken martial arts master and a chihuahua before the final round versus a professional wrestler. The company did not say which level the three injured players were on when hurt, although accurate statistics may be impossible to determine since anyone who plays an arm-wrestling game likely wouldn't admit losing to a chihuahua.