Evey Wilson for Marketplace When it comes to sports injuries, professional esports athletes are probably not high on anyone’s list. But the repetitive motions that come with playing video games for hours can take their toll. “With anything that’s done in excess you’re seeing overuse injuries: a lot of wrist injuries, a lot of back, neck injuries,” said Joanne Donoghue with the Center for eSports Medicine at the New York Institute of Technology. She says people who play video games at such high levels can get really hurt. “A lot of them are not even aware that these are side effects of what they’re doing. It just kind of comes with the territory for them,” she explained. But some experts are starting to pay attention, such as Dr. Vonda Wright, chief of sports medicine at Northside Hospital in Atlanta.
“This is all part of treating this newest group of professional esports athletes like we’ve always treated traditional athletes,” she explained. Wright has donated time in a partnership with local esports company Skillshot Media to give gamers more access to medical care. Skillshot is like a traditional sports league: it hosts matches that pit independently-owned teams against each other. “Thinking about overall player welfare is an important goal for us, since really they’re the most important entity in the whole ecosystem. It’s all about them,” said Todd Harris, who runs Skillshot. James Heseltine, a professional video game player for a company called Obey Alliance, said that it can be mentally and physically challenging to compete at the professional level. “It is draining,” he said. “Some of the games can go for 60 minutes. It’s terrible if it goes that long.” Dr. Vonda Wright tests James Heseltine’s wrist flexibility. She also tested his posture and his neck mobility. “I try to do […]
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