If you’ve ever played Candy Crush Saga, you’ll know just how addicting it can be. But one California man took his addiction too far. He actually tore a tendon in his thumb by overplaying the smash hit mobile game. Dude, put your iPhone down for a few minutes!
According to LiveScience, the 29-year old man played the game “all day for six to eight weeks.” It was a notable case because such injuries are usually very painful, yet he kept on playing.
“We need to be aware that certain video games can act like digital painkillers,” said Dr. Andrew Doan, co-author of a case report on video game injuries and head of addictions research at the Naval Medical Center San Diego. He went on explain exactly how this man avoided feeling pain for close to two months.
Typically, when people rupture this tendon, the tear occurs at the point where the tendon is thinnest, or where it attaches to the bone. But in this man’s case, the rupture occurred at the point where the tendon was thickest, which would usually cause pain prior to the rupture.
But the man said he didn’t feel pain while he played the smartphone game. This may be because, when people play video games, they can feel pleasure and excitement that are tied to the release of natural painkillers in the body — the same thing that happens when a person feels a “runner’s high.”
This may lead to reduced perceptions of pain, but it may also play a role in the addictive nature of video games.
The afflicted gamer now needs thumb surgery. And a new way to spend his idle time.