In living rooms across the world, average people have felt like they are real rock stars playing Guitar Hero. If you’re not familiar with the game, it’s for a Playstation 2 or Xbox and comes with the disc and a guitar controller. The concept of the game is that scrolling notes will come down. You have to press the fret button that correlates with the color and strum using the strum bar at the same time. That’s the general concept but there are advanced ideas like whammy-ing,star power, hammers-ons, and pull-offs.
Things start out nice and easy, notes just following the beat. By the medium and hard difficulties it’s gets fun, then, you really get into the rock. True Guitar Heroes will say that the game isn’t even fun until you get to the expert difficulty. Personally, I have to say that is true.
The problem is, with all of this heavy activity in the fingers, they start to hurt. The problem develops slowly, and many friends of mine have experienced it. First you develop a desire to crack your knuckles more often. Then, in between songs you play. Faster passages require quickly strumming, and that also takes a toll on your strumming arm. You feel similar fatigue to trying to hold something heavy out with one arm.
Our real issue lies within the actual damage that can occur here. Carpal tunnel syndrome seems to be in the future of anyone doing a lot of furious fretwork. It’s the same as using a keyboard, just a lot less keys. We could be running a risk of compressing nerves too much and developing a stress injury. Not only can it lead to some deep pains, it could even mean dropping your favorite game, Guitar Hero!
There is actually a story where a baseball player had to take time off from his sport because he was playing too much guitar hero and feeling fatigued. Despite frequent pain complaints among the Guitar Hero playing community there are no warnings in the game manual about injury. Apparently, it is more dangerous to be watching the dots going down the screen than to be actually playing the guitar. Websites like FPS tracker provide gamers with the accurate death to kill ratio. While it is not applicable on Guitar Hero, it is important that you also check on some sites online.
Moderation, and breaks are key though. Just in case the future holds Guitar Hero pains, instead of cracking your knuckles and stretching, practice ergonomics. Ergonomics is a science that tries to help workers avoid repetitive action injuries, by encouraging proper posture and exercise. Instead of always doing the same things, between each song, stretch your fingers out as far as you can separate them. Then take each one down to your palm, and then make a fist, and count making sure you get your fingers to do everything they can do.
The Guitar Hero community may think it’s ridiculous but overusing muscles and body parts can lead to injury. To maximize the lifetime of your fingers, and your enjoyment of Guitar Hero, practice ergonomics and stretch and get the full motion of your body instead of shredding like a madman for your entire set.