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Into the Black

I'm starting to suffer from fairly regular bouts of hand/wrist pains from gaming... I'm trying to figure out if the subtle shape/size difference between my new Logitech mouse and my old MS one are making this worse or not. I actually think the worst thing for this is my use of the right mouse button as my move forward command in shooters... I think using that so frequently combined with other mouse actions may be overdoing it a bit. It sure would be hard to change a configuration I've been using since Wolfenstein though.

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30 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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30. Re: Blue get a Wrist support Aug 11, 2005, 20:05 Earthworm
 
I am sure I am late for this Board, but i never knew others used the Right Mouse button for forward, asside from Me. I think it is from playing FPS from the beginning though. I used RMB for move forward since Doom 1 (Never used Mouse in Wolf3d), although I used Cttr, and Alt for strafe Left and Right, instead of A and D. I switched to a trackball rather early, and went through 3 of them and finally settled on a nice Logitech Optical Mouse (The Trackbars actually made my arms fall asleep way more than using a mouse). I stopped using RMB for forward around Quake 3 when Weapon Switching became more important, and Alt fire was showing up more in games.

Glad to know I wasn't the only one to use RMB. What about the 2 Cent "Always run" in Doom?

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29. Re: Blue get a Wrist support Aug 11, 2005, 17:44 Alamar
 
I'm going to have to wholeheartedly disagree with these suggestions.

Though, my reasonining may not relate.

If you play with your arm and hand on the desk, then using a cushion to life your wrist is going to cut off circulation.

If you don't play with your arm on a desk, and instead hold it up in the air, you have a strong arm heh. Without the arm/desk support, most people either wrest their hands on the mouse or wrist on the desk, and using a cushion could help, but again, it can cut off circulation if you're resting it too low (past the base of your hand).

But regardless of all the other solutions, what you really need to do is stand up every 15 mins (like between matches perhaps), stretch the legs, refocus your eyes, and move/swivel your hands/wrists.

-Alamar

 
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28. No subject Aug 11, 2005, 14:18 space captain
 
I actually used to do keyboard only in quake for quite a while... of course - things were simpler back then

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27. Re: Blue get a Wrist support Aug 11, 2005, 13:28 Creston
 
There are excercises that help, but they're designed to simply get you to change positions rather than strengthen.

My physical therapist would heartily disagree with that statement, and since with those excercises he got me from a situation where I literally lay awake at night crying because of the agony in my hands to a point where I have no pain whatsoever, I'm inclined to agree with him.

If you excercise to strengthen the tendons and muscles that you hurt with NORMAL keyboard / mouse use, you can avoid RSI. It's only when you overdo it (Ie, work all day on a computer, then go home and play 6 hours of Guild Wars) that it'll come back.



Creston


 
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26. Re: Blue get a Wrist support Aug 11, 2005, 11:14 Zathrus
 
RMB for forward dates back to Wolf3D doesn't it? But come on guys... get with the times! There are far better things to put on RMB now, and as many people have found out the hard way holding down a mouse button for long periods of time causes additional strain. Neither your hand nor the mouse was designed for that kind of thing.

I think the key to preventing hand/wrist pains is exercise

Excercise isn't bad, but a legion of doctors will disagree with you on this one. RSI will happen in anyone pre-disposed to it if they have their wrist/arms/hands positioned wrong. It's physiological. Not everyone will get it, but if you do then no amount of curls will help it. There are excercises that help, but they're designed to simply get you to change positions rather than strengthen.

 
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25. Re: Blue get a Wrist support Aug 11, 2005, 10:43 MMORPGHoD
 
First, no RMB forward for me. Sometimes I use the two thumb buttons on the mouse for forward/backward. I use my nostromo most of the time for movement in games now.

Second, I think the key to preventing hand/wrist pains is exercise. Get to the gym and do some bench/curls or specific wrist exercises that mix it up a bit.

This comment was edited on Aug 11, 10:43.
 
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24. Re: Blue get a Wrist support Aug 11, 2005, 10:26 Warhawk
 
I still use arrow keys. 2, 4, 5, 6 for movement, 3 jump, 1 crouch, 7-9 and the symbols are for doors, "use" button, reloading, etc. RMB is alt-fire, other mouse buttons also used for reloading, weapon swap, etc.


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23. Re: Blue get a Wrist support Aug 11, 2005, 10:14 Creston
 
Do your hands ever get used to the constant repetitive movements and this is just an adjustment period?

No, they DON'T. You can MINIMIZE the damage you are doing to yourself by doing muscle strengthening excercises daily, and giving yourself plenty of breaks in between bouts of keyboard/mouse madness, but the reason your hands start hurting is because they aren't designed to be doing this sort of shit in the first place.

Now, the real killer is when you are holding your hands in un-ergonomic shapes etc. For example, an earlier post talks about a higher mouse, creating an unnatural angle. That is bad, and a wrist rest could actually help there. Similarly, for other people, a wrist rest will only worsen the problem, since it creates a bad angle the other way around (because the mouse is lower than your hand is).
Using the right mouse button while twisting the mouse around is an absolute killer btw. You are constantly putting pressure on your middle finger (which is the biggest tendon) by pushing that button down, then are twisting your hand to move the mouse. This is not a normal mode of operation for your hand, and doing it repeatedly will start to hurt.
Guild wars uses the RMB to change the camera angle, which you do frequently, which is why my RSI came back.

It's possible for someone to find an ergonomic angle for himself so that the damage is minimized, but even then you'll have to take frequent breaks and allow your hands / tendons / muscles to recover.


The project I'm working on pretty much necessititates the use of a gamepad for intuitive control 40 hours a week straight minus two breaks and lunch
am I doing serious damage to my hands/wrists and should look for other work?

I think work as a tester won't allow you to cut back on the keyboard / mouse use drastically enough to stop the pain from worsening, so you may want to think about finding another job yeah.

Believe me, I've been playing games since the day of Pong, and I WANT to be able to play games for 16 hours straight. The reality, however, is that my hands and wrists can't take that kind of punishment. (I had RSI badly for a year, and it's recently come back after too much Guild Wars)
So either you cut back / find another job, or risk becoming PERMANENTLY disabled.

I'm not kidding about this. RSI is a very serious ailment, and if left untreated and allowed to worsen, it WILL cripple you for life.

See today's OOTB post for more info on this.

Seriously guys, you don't want this kind of pain...

Creston

This comment was edited on Aug 11, 10:20.
 
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22. Re: Blue get a Wrist support Aug 11, 2005, 09:27 Bill Borre
 
I've been working as a tester for Activision for the last five weeks. I have never had hand/wrist pain in my life, but since last week, I have. The project I'm working on pretty much necessititates the use of a gamepad for intuitive control 40 hours a week straight minus two breaks and lunch. I spoke to Volt about it, and they said they'd send me to a physician. Do your hands ever get used to the constant repetitive movements and this is just an adjustment period? Or, I'm wondering, since I'm about 20 years older than every other guy working there, am I doing serious damage to my hands/wrists and should look for other work?

 
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21. Blue get a Wrist support Aug 11, 2005, 09:04 Marvin T. Martian
 
I have to agree with Bucky!! I went and got my self a gel cushion wrist cushion. It was combined with a mouse mat designed to fit with it and a surface designed for optical mice. Pain gone.

Check it out
http://www.handstands.com/retail/computer/mousemat/optical.shtml

 
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20. Re: Logitech mice Aug 11, 2005, 08:52 Tango
 
I'm a WASD man myself... though back in the Hexen II days, it was arrow keys :o.

 
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19. Re: Logitech mice Aug 11, 2005, 07:35 DDI
 
Right mouse button for move!? WASD FOR LIFE! Added bonus of rarely reconfiguring!

 
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18. Re: Logitech mice Aug 11, 2005, 07:32 Jim
 
finally caved in and started using the standard tried and true wasd format and while it did take some time to get used to, it's certainly not impossible to break the old routine. it's worth a shot.

I tried the WASD config a couple of times, just couldn't get into it. I always used the arrow keys for movement (forward/back, strafe left/right). One of the things that makes me rely on using arrow keys is that I always map the 6-pack of keys above the arrow keys (insert/delete, page up/dn, etc) to miscellaneous functions such as use, flashlight, reload, lean, etc and its also within easy reach of control key and shift key modifiers.

It annoys me that most games come with WASD setup by default, but don't have the arrow configs as a secondary. I really wish games would make the config modular, so I could save a key config once and use it for all games.

 
Jim
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17. Wolfenstein Aug 11, 2005, 07:25 Jim
 
I didn't know you could play Wolfenstein with a mouse- or at least to map your own controls for it. You are talking about Wolf3d right?

I've used my standard key/mouse config since Quake2. Yeah, sounds strange, but I played all that DOOM and SP Quake 1 without even touching the mouse.

 
Jim
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16. No subject Aug 11, 2005, 04:27 Hastur
 
The only time I've had consistent wrist pain in my mouse hand was with Tribes--I actually had to quit cold turkey and use my left hand to mouse for a while. I later realized it was because of all the jumpjetting in the game, for which I constantly held down the RMB. So I think it's very possible it could be your configuration, Blue.

 
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15. Re: No subject Aug 11, 2005, 03:17 Bill Nakano
 
RMB is alt-fire.

RMB = forward and D or S = Back? I used to play that way with Quake (I played Wolfie and Doom with a gamepad too!) but kept ending up hitting S to reverse while still having the RMB pressed down. Can't make that mistake if one finger is covering either W or S. Wotever.


 
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14. Re: No subject Aug 11, 2005, 02:52 Cynips
 
Hey! Me too! I used to use right mouse button for forward. Being a mac gamer at start I also used space for attack and W for jump.
Early on I bought a Kensington 4-button mouse with the buttons in a square setup. Front right for forward, back right for backing - beautifully intuitive. But after some time the mouse started acting up and I got a replacement, only to have that one acting up too. I finally realized I'd have to give up this setting. A few changes more and several years later I'm now a ESDF (or WASD) guy. Working great. Takes some getting used to a new setup but it's definitely not impossible. I'd say maybe 3 months of plenty training.

Never had any problems with the mouse hand, but the muscles lifting the fingers on my left hand are seriously overworked from constant use. Probably should stop playing but that's not really an option...

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13. Re: No subject Aug 11, 2005, 01:30 complicity
 
Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer (original) here. Left mouse fire, middle mouse backwards, right mouse forwards, side mouse alt-fire, 2nd side mouse use (or zoom). Z left strafe, X jump, C right strafe, space crouch. Other keys are mapped as necessary. Oh, and 'invert mouse'.

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12. No subject Aug 11, 2005, 01:10 space captain
 
i still use right mouse button to jump, since that was the quake method and i got used to that

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11. Mousings Aug 11, 2005, 01:07 Chipsystems
 
You guys are crazy with your right mouse button movement. I mean, I love you guys, but you're crazy.

Anyway, I use a MS intellimouse. I tried switching to a razer few months back when I got one as a gift, during a time when I was spending a lot of time with WoW (which, interestingly enough, caused me to hold down RMB a lot to turn my character around). I ended up having my first two fingers in my hand being quite sore. I switched back to the MS intellimouse, and have been pain free again for months.

Maybe you should switch back and see how you do?

 
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