Arcade stick ergonomics


#1

Has anyone ever experienced carpal tunnel like symptoms from using their arcade sticks? The other day I was playing SF4 with one of my roommates for like a half hour and when I stopped, my wrist felt really tired and sore, and weakness in opposing my thumb. This happened just before when I tried to practice combos again after 15 minutes. I built my stick a few years ago and tried to model it after a mas stick. I’ve been a casual fight game player and it’s only recently where I really tried to learn link combos so the repetitive button tapping for extended periods of time may have something to do with this. Below are pictures of my stick with a ruler to help you guys visualize the dimensions of my stick. I’d like to hear if anyone else ever experiences this and also I’d like your guys opinion if it’s due to the design of my arcade stick like the stick and the buttons being too close that is causing me to have these symptoms. It’s possible that I’ve been playing too long without a rest but like I said, it happened again today only after 15 minutes of playing. If you guys do think my stick design is causing my symptoms, is there a stick you would recommend that is ergonomic?

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/GrbfySV9YPQjpVzl8KzWDQ?feat=directlink
http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/SbmT5dmo_tToT4itEmXCAw?feat=directlink
http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/3bIdu8_ndbklBWKcA5VVGA?feat=directlink


#2

Happened to me a few months ago when left 4 dead came out. it hurt when I moved my wrist and also when I tried moving my index finger.

lasted for about 2 weeks and then never happened again (because I stopped playing)


#3

For lap play I’d prefer something shorter (if Happs fit it is proably too tall :confused:), to not rest my wrists on a hard angled ledge and to have little to no angle to the top of the stick.


#4

Read up on RSS (repetitive stress syndrome). Over time you damage things, then you can end up hurting after only a few minutes of play. It may help to look at ergonomics for computers. You should be sitting with your feet flat on the ground, knees at 90 degrees, and ideally your elbows at 90 degrees and above all else, make sure you don’t bend your wrists up. You should be able to draw a line from the top of your forearm over the back of your hand. Never bend your wrist up so it crosses this line. Your stick may be too thick to allow you to use it ergonomically. If so probably any thinner stick will do, as long as you can use it without bending your wrists up.

I suffer from wrist problems due to computers (I’m a software engineer). My hobbies are programming, jiujitsu, and fighting games, all of which are terrible for my wrist. For jiujitsu I tape both wrists heavily. For everything else I have tried a lot of things (including a SmartNav head tracking device for moving the mouse with your head) and by far the best solution for me has been a glove called the Imak SmartGlove. I ALWAYS wear these if I’m at a computer or playing video games and it makes a HUGE difference. It literally changed my life! :slight_smile:

The gloves keep your wrist warm, which helps more than you’d think. They have a plastic and foam stick that goes from the back of your hand to the top of your forearm. It is flexible enough to not be uncomfortable, but provides enough resistance that it helps keep you from inadvertently bending your wrist up. There are two gloves, one with a thumb and one without. If you have pain in the tendons for your thumb (like me :frowning: ), the thumb one is great as it keeps the thumb warm and has two plastic splints for support. Otherwise the one without a thumb is fine. The glove has a bean bag in the palm so you can rest your hands on a surface (eg typing or grabbing the mouse). The bean bag is the goofiest part (kind of looks like a goiter :p) but does actually help keep your wrists straight. The gloves can be turned inside out to be worn on either hand.

Right now I’m still using a dpad with SFIV, waiting on sticks from AIAB. The dpad is absolute murder on my left thumb. I overdid it when I got the game and have been hurting for two weeks. I can’t play charge characters at all any more. Shotos are ok, but for only short periods of time. I’ve never used a stick before, but I don’t think I’ll have wrist problems with it if I sit right and use my gloves.

My body is freaking falling apart, and I’m only 28. FML!


#5

American style sticks and buttons are more taxing to your body because they require more strength to use.

I would suggest learning to use Japanese sanwa parts. They are a lot more ergonomic and precise, in my opinion.

I use to have similar issues you’re talking about using my old perfect 360 and happ button stick. Not to say that you won’t ever feel sore or tired using a japanese stick, but the amount of force required is much less.


#6

Man, left fo dead is mad fun.