Saturday, August 22, 2009

Gamer's Thumb

The mark of any true console gamer is the prized merit badge known as Gamer's Thumb. Gamer's Thumb is the callusing of the thumb, usually the left thumb but can develop on both depending. Most gamers who possess it will tell you that it takes years of hard gaming to achieve, but I'm going to let you in on a secret! It doesn't!

Thats right, with only a few days of moderate gaming you too could earn yourself a higher rank among the geek elite. Heres the secret:

1) Start by selecting a 2D fighter like Street Fighter 2 _____(insert random sub-title), Capcom Vs _____(insert random sub-title) or any other amazing arcade-ish fighting game that requires massive amounts of quarter/half circle forward/back rotations on the Dpad to perform the characters special moves.

2) Next, play said game until your thumb begins to hurt from it. This should only take about 2 or 3 hours. This amount of time will seem to fly by if your playing with a bunch of friends. The trick is to keep playing through the pain for a wile longer to make sure you get the desired effect.

3) The next day you should notice that you have discomfort in your thumb when you touch surfaces, this is good. If you have a visible blister you can skip to step four. If you do not, you must play again today for approximately one hour more. You need not play with others as the pain in your thumb would put you at a disadvantage. I would recommend using this time to practice the special moves of some of the characters in your chosen game to raise your gamer stats next time you play with your friends.

4) You should now have a very obvious blister on your thumb. This is good, your almost there. Today, simply do nothing. Let your blister heal a bit.

5) After letting your thumb rest for a day or two(no more) the blister should be a patch of loose skin on your thumb. Peel this skin off. This sounds gross, but should not hurt. Now begin gaming again. I again recommend practicing at this point. Your thumb should feel odd but not hurt. As the skin grows back, which should only take a few days, the callus should replace the soft skin.


An alternate method would be to play one day for several hours, rest the next day and then repeat the cycle. This could take longer but may work more quickly depending on your amount of play and skin type.

Fighters have always been one of my all time favorite types of games. I spent many years of my life huddled around crowded machines in dark, loud, strange smelling arcades and it really did influence the kinds of games that really hit home for me. I was inspired to write this little tutorial the other day when I hung out with some old friends of mine and we rocked out to some old-school 2D fighters. The next day I dug out some of my old favs and played them too. The tell tale discomfort in my thumbs reminded me of how quickly my old Gamer's Thumb could come back when I used to go a while without playing fighters. It really isn't as hard to achieve as some people would have you believe.

So go get your merit badge and enjoy some serious gaming along the way!


RetroPengo said...

HAHA! The skin on my thumbs is still a little bit thick. These days though, I look more at the wear and tear on my keyboard than anything else. My keyboard that just died had glossy spots over my WASD keys and on the left of my space bar where I had literally WORN THE TEXTURE OFF OF THE PLASTIC lol.

MMMMmmmmm gaming. I do so love it.

RetroPengo said...

Oh yeah. you have to do this on an older console too. The new pads mostly are designed to not cause this problem. The most thumb-blister inducing pad would be the Sega Genesis 6 button controller. Try that one on for size and if you don't have a blister in 2 hours, you're already pretty thick-skinned. Just thinking about it makes my thumb joint hurt. lol.

I always used the joint in my thumb, where my friends used their tips of their thumbs. I found that I get better reaction time if i only have to move half of my thumb for the desired effect, so my callouses used to actually keep me from bending my thumb completely.

Matthew Silva said...

I also get gaming blisters a lot the thing I would suggest you do is get some of this finger armor that just came out. I recently used and helped with my gaming blisters tremendously.