I dislocate things every day. Maybe I turn funny and out pops a shoulder, or a stub my toe and whoops! There go four of the others too! Yawning or even talking loudly dislocates my jaw, and my hips have come out more times than I care to mention. At this point it doesn’t really hurt that much, it’s more of an inconvenience like whacking your funny bone.
It’s all thanks to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a condition that means all of the collagen in my body is faulty. The thing that holds your tissues together simply doesn’t in me which, alongside my escape artist joints, causes digestive problems, poor vision, stretchy skin, incredibly low blood pressure, chronic fatigue and constant pain.
Even games can cause me problems. However, I have noticed that some games cause me more problems than others, and so I feel those ones deserve to be rewarded for their fucking-up-my-joints capabilities. And so, without further ado, I present to you the best games to play if you have weak joints and a taste for punishment.
Destiny is a very interesting example of minor controller design flaws crashing into minor in-game control problems and resulting in horrific knuckle-snapping.
On its own, the squishy triggers of the DualShock 4 aren’t a problem. I’ve happily played through Bloodborne, infamous: Second Son and more without issues. There’ll be a bit of hand fatigue, but that’s to be expected when doing any fine motor control for an extended period of time.
Destiny does something else, though: it requires you to hold the trigger, then very quickly release it and ram it down again to perform special abilities. Holding down the right trigger to fire the gun, and then having to quickly jab it and the left trigger down to pull off my Warlock’s whoosh-fireball-blast-thing in the middle of an already hectic fight is generally the point of impact for my hand.
Sure, the very top knuckle of my index fingers go a bit wayward, but everyone else dies. I’d say I’ve come out on top in that situation.
Dislocation index: 2/14 wonky knuckles, countless dead Taken.
If Destiny is a short, sharp shock, Rocket League is the endurance marathon of joint misaligning. I’ve played it on both a traditional Xbox 360 pad and my normally trusty Steam controller, and the result is the same.
Imagine a suspension bridge. All the weight has to be evenly distributed along all of the supports, or else one snaps and you wind up with the intro to Final Destination 5. Everything has to be working as it should or else there’s utter havoc.
My middle finger, sat on the acceleration trigger, is that weak support. It only takes a sudden break or a rocket-jump and bam, out comes my finger, the bridge has broken and David Koechner is getting covered in boiling tar all over again.
There’s also the added bonus of people typing “wtf afk” whenever I have to take a second to reset the joint. At least I know anybody else would have to at least stop playing if that happened to them, I guess.
Dislocation index: 3/8 fingers, a broken bridge, and another installment of one of my guiltiest pleasure film series.
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
The New 3DS is an Ehlers-Danlos deathtrap, and no other game exemplifies this better than Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate.
The 3DS is far, far too thin for me to hold without a third party grip. The face buttons are positioned very close to the edge, which means pressing A can cause me to quite literally push my own thumb-joints out of their sockets.
Monster Hunter 4 takes this a step further by both requiring fine camera control using the abomination that is the C-nub. There’s no lock-on for smaller monsters, so I have to frequently dart my thumb between the C-nub and the A button to perform even slightly competently, all while also putting strain on the rest of my fingers trying to get a grip of the skinny piece of kit.
I very quickly learned that fully 3D games like Monster Hunter don’t work particularly well for me or my knuckles. I’ve had similar problems in Ocarina of Time 3D and Xenoblade Chronicles, so now it’s more or less just become my designated Pokemon Machine.
Dislocation index: 1/2 dislocated thumbs, 1/8 dislocated fingers, and a 3DS soaring through the air as it is chucked out of my window.
I need to caveat this one, as I do genuinely like #SelfieTennis, the tennis game for the HTC Vive. It’s a decent simulation of the real sport in a colourful setting and has an interesting keepy-uppy self-co-op mechanic. In the week or so I had a Vive, it was by far my favourite game.
Me dislocating my knee and my hip simultaneously was entirely my own fault. I selfied too hard, and I paid the price.
As the name might suggest, #SelfieTennis lets you take selfies and share them on Twitter in the middle of play. I had knocked over one of the ball-headed spectators, who had then fallen into the pitch and landed in a funny position.
I crouched down to take a selfie with Mr. Ballhead, and pop, out came my knee. Knees are complicated joints that I don’t dislocate all that much (dislocating a knee or an elbow is what I’d consider “a bad day”), so I was in a decent amount of pain. I lurched to the side to try and put my knee back where it should, and then its old friend my hip decided to join the fun and pop out as well.
I managed to get both back in place with a little bit more pain than normal, but walking was difficult for the next few days. I tried to play #SelfieTennis again a few hours later and cracked my hand on my wall with the Vive’s controller like an utter twonk.
Selfie responsibly, folks.
Dislocation index: one dislocated knee, one dislocated hip, a few days of especially difficult walking, and the shame of knowing it was all caused by a selfie.
So there we have it, the best games to play if your collagen is knackered and you fancy seeing your extremities sticking out at hilarious and painful angles.
Surprisingly, I’m pretty good at Dance Dance Revolution.