A German gamer broke his neck while wearing a VR headset – but not because he fell over while playing.
Instead, doctors claim the 31-year-old – who played for up to four hours each day – suffered the injury because of his ‘repetitive’ and ‘intense’ movements. Medics say repeated strenuous movements wore down one of the vertebrae in his neck, causing it to finally crack.
Experts at the University of Leipzig Hospital, who treated the man, believe this is the world’s first documented VR-related stress fracture. Detailing the case in a medical journal, the team wrote the unidentified man’s injury resembled ones seen in runners and soldiers.
The man went to the hospital after experiencing sharp pain in his shoulders while playing a game. Doctors did not reveal what game he was playing, but said it required him to move his body to ‘rhythmic visual and musical triggers’.
X-ray scans later revealed the man had fractured his C7 neck vertebra — which sits near the base of the neck above the shoulders.
The man needed to wear a type of neck brace for six weeks to support his neck while it healed and he made a full recovery after 12 weeks.
The headsets are becoming increasingly popular equipment among gamers, with millions of them sold in both the UK and US in recent years.