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Tuesday, August 24 2004

Game Stars Live: Medical Advice
Updated at 8:10 AM
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Whoa there, buddy - gotta hold up when playing those games for hours at a time:
Following a survey that revealed that out of 641 questioned, 322 had received injuries from playing videogames, the organisers of the forthcoming 'Game Stars Live' exhibition have issued tips to ensure attendees enjoy safe gaming at the September event.

The most common injuries included blisters and calluses from frantic button bashing or holding the controller incorrectly. But respondents also detailed other more surprising wounds – usually as a result of over excitement.

Stig Wiksnes, 27, an IT administrator from Stavanger, Norway, admitted: "I got my front teeth kicked out by a friend of mine while playing Super Streetfighter 2. I was on a winning streak. All of a sudden he almost got me - but I came back in the match and won. He got so annoyed that he kicked out just as I turned my head so I got his cheesy sock smack in my mouth. That wasn't pleasant at all."

In response to the findings the Entertainment Leisure Software Publishers Association is issuing attendees of Game Stars Live – running from 1st – 5th September at ExCeL in Docklands – with a series of health guidelines.

Based on the results of various research reports, ELSPA advises players:

Take regular breaks

Not play for hours on end

Play the full distance possible from the screen

Use a monitor instead of a TV if possible

Stop playing should they feel unwell and consult a doctor.

"When gamers play computer games properly and sensibly, there is very little health risk," said Roger Bennett, director general, ELSPA. "But with a show floor larger than the size of three football pitches full of the latest and greatest computer and videogames, we're issuing guidelines to ensure everyone leaves the event blister-free – as they're certainly going to be spending significant time playing the very best the medium has to offer."

Game Stars Live will have specially-educated first aid officers offering advice to anyone concerned about gaming injuries. The organisers recommend attendees enjoy the many other attractions at the show for at least 10 minutes out of every hour's gaming.

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