Game Arthritis


Matteo Bittanti and IOCOSE

Atari SkinningCASE #1 Atari Skinning

3D Optical DisorderCASE #2 3D Optical Disorder

What are the real effects of digital gaming on our fingers, hands, and bodies?

The conformity of interfaces produces deformity.

It’s a fact.

Call it ‘the reality of the virtual’.

Prolonged vicarious aggression leads to permanent physical disfiguration.

Gaming activities produce real consequences for the users.

Playstation ThumbCASE #3 Playstation Thumb

WiiMote Shoulder DislocationCASE #4 WiiMote Shoulder Dislocation

Research has been conducted for years in several clinical laboratories across the globe but doctors and researchers are not willing to share their findings with the general population. However, evidence of new technologically-induced diseases is now becoming known outside of the scientific community.

These pathologies – collectively labeled ‘Game arthritis’ – are not officially ‘recognized’.

The authorities have dismissed this hidden epidemic as ‘mass hysteria’.

But according to some scientists – who, fearing ostracization, only speak on condition of anonymity – these undiagnosed disorders are the psychopathology of ludic societies. Digital technology is indeed damaging users’ fingers, arms, postures… Even their DNA is compromised.

WASD SyndromeCASE #5 WASD Syndrome

Xbox HypertrophyCASE #6 Xbox Hypertrophy

Game arthritis is not supposed to exist. Game companies do not want to talk about it. Clinicians and dermatologists do not want to discuss it. Labs refuse to run tests.

And yet, thousands of players manifest similar symptoms.

Thousands of players feel real pain in their bodies. Affected subjects are not delusional.

Photos and images are beginning to circulate on the internet.

We have collected a few samples.

First-Person Shooter Carpal Tunnel SyndromeCASE #7 FPS Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Nintendo ArthritisCASE #8 Nintendo Arthritis

A work by Matteo Bittanti and IOCOSE
Photographer: Kenzie Burchell
Make-up artist: Emma Alexandra Watts
Models: Tom Bennett, Katie Bourner, Sabu Isayama, Maruen Zarino Lanni,
Lauren Lapidge, Paul Speziali, Rory Thompson, Juliana Yazbeck

Critical readings:

Bittanti, M. (2011) ‘A Gaming Patography’, originally published by Fabio Paris Art Gallery, Brescia, Italy.

Ludovico, A. (2012), ‘Addiction(s)’, interview published in Neural magazine.

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