Weird Science

Got a Concussion? Try Some Wii

Trainers on several college campuses are using Wii Fit to help measure how much athletes have recovered from a concussion. The game tests athlete’s balance, an important yardstick in measuring recovery. But the technique is unproven, so the University of Maryland and Ohio State are jointly researching how reliable Nintendo’s exercise game is at managing concussions. The Wii Fit is simple and relatively cheap, plus students love the game, researchers say. And it’s a fun way to come back from an injury. But critics say reliance on the game could be dangerous, a “one-size-fits-all” recommendation. Concussions have become a huge cause for concern among sports programs from the NFL to Little League as scientists increasingly show that head trauma can have lasting and devastating effects.