Super Smash Bros. Creator Suffering From Repetitive Strain Injury

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Kirby and Super Smash Bros. creator, Masahiro Sakurai, is suffering from repetitive strain injury, particularly in his right hand, the designer revealed in a column written by him in a recent issue of Famitsu magazine.


Polygon’s translation of the report indicates that Sakurai, who is currently hard at work on two Super Smash Bros. games for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U in collaboration with Namco Bandai, says that the strain is reaching “the point where it’s starting to restrict my work and lifestyle”.


Using a mouse, keyboard or gamepad add to the strain, so Sakurai’s solution is to use a trackball instead of a mouse. In addition, he plans to start giving more verbal directions during development, as opposed to writing e-mails, and cut down on the amount of typing he has to do himself.


HAL Laboratory, where Sakurai once worked with Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, made extensive use of a trackball to draw and animate graphics for NES games. Kirby, Sakurai recalls, was drawn in this manner. Since he has experience with trackballs, Sakurai hopes that controlling one will be easy for him until his arms get better.


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Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.