If Mike Tomich is to be believed, colouring, video games and keyboard use are crippling our children. According to Tomich, each of these activities is responsible for deforming the youngin's hands. FOREVER.
Take a look at mine. Just awful. I started playing Super Mario Bros. in '86, and my digits just went downhill from there. I write for Gizmodo on Sundays in constant pain, but my love for the craft, and you, gives me the strength to tell this sobering story. I started writing that warning on the little card at 10 a.m this morning, if that tells you anything.
Tomich, armed with a quiver full of photos with lines drawn on them, takes the video games industry, Congress, and even the OLPC project to task for ruining hands and fingers with their skeleton-deforming devices and policies.
To his credit, Tomich doesn't ask that we drop technology or Crayola for good. He only asks that we ban children from playing any kind of video game until age eight, and that we deny them the pleasure of coloring inside the lines up until age 5.
"Children develop the injuries because their bones are too soft (not calcified hard) and readily yield to the strong repeating forces," writes Tomich on his web site (itself the result of 5 1/2 years of unofficial research). "The permanent and accumulative damage from these forces is silently inflicted without pain because of the numbing effects they deliver to the soft bones."
The results of premature gaming can be seen in these pictures, which purportedly show curved fingers—some allegedly the result of only three months of playing Nintendo 64. I've never heard of this before, but Tomich does call it a "Silent Epidemic," so maybe that's why. Can anyone provide a little more medical info on whether this is bunk science or not? Having typed, coloured or played games from pretty much age 3, I'm a prime candidate for this, and yet my hands, arms and everything else feels fine. Weird.
P.S. Yes, that last sentence means my earlier one about feeling excruciating pain while writing here was a lie. However, I still write for you. That part was true. Mostly. [Mike Tomich - Thanks, Owen]