Masahiro Sakurai, the designer of the Kirby and the Super Smash Bros series, has revealed in his Famitsu column that he is currently suffering from repetitive strain injury, which is causing him all sorts of problems. Sakurai says that repetitive strain injury is getting to the point where it’s starting to restrict both his work and lifestyle. Sakurai’s says that the solution for the time being is to use a trackball. Here’s what he wrote.

“Using a mouse, keyboard or gamepad make my arm tired, so I can’t use them in a continual manner. The only device I can use for an extended period of time is a joystick. It’s posing problems when I’m test-playing something in progress.”

[repetitive strain injury] is getting to “the point where it’s starting to restrict my work and lifestyle,”

“I figure that if I cut down on writing emails and other things, try not to type in so much data myself, and start giving more verbal directions, that’ll reduce the amount of keyboard-oriented work I have to do. But if I’m going to be supervising other people’s work, there’s no way to cut down the amount of mouse usage I need to perform. I’m trying to work it with my left hand in order to give the right one some rest, but that definitely cuts down on my work efficiency…”

“Kirby was drawn with a trackball on the Game Boy and NES. The internal hardware team at HAL came up with a way to connect a trackball to the NES, then use a dev tool that ran on a Twin Famicom disc to draw graphics. It was great because you could draw and animate graphics right on the NES screen with the trackball, clicking on numbers onscreen to go between animation frames. It really had a beneficial effect on HAL’s NES and Game Boy development — in some ways I think we really had a powerhouse system.”

“I’ve been familiar with trackballs for years, so controlling one should be easy…in theory! Hopefully the day will come when I’m able to use them for extended periods with my right hand again. I hope this gets healed up!”



  1. The funny thing is , we are all guna get RSI when Smash bros.4 launches XD . His pain and efforts shall soon be transfered to us. Not even the Gamecube controller could stop me from getting RSI with brawl….


  2. Wow. He sounds like he needs to work less, obviously. Still, he should hopefully heal up, since it doesn’t sound irreversible. Still, here’s to his health!


  3. I feel bad for him….

    Not trying to sound rude, but I hope his restrictions to test play, in this case smash bros. won’t affect anything! Because remember, Namco is doing EVERYTHING, and if Sakurai cannot test it out for long to get a good feel for the walking/running/fighting/physics, I feel that we’re not going to get the smash bros we’ve been waiting for…. :( Get reaady for Namco Brothers…


  4. I use to have that too and wen i went to the doctor he said : if you dont stop masturbating we have to take you to surgery…..thats was 5 months ago im having surgery next weak. JOKE


  5. People are gonna get scared that this will affect where Smash Bros. 4 stands. I don’t blame them. In fact, I believe people wouldn’t give one sh*t about his condition Just to get a fourth game in the series.

    And be still, folks. I love the Smash series too. I rather him take the back seat and show the new devs what should be done and what he wants in the game instead of putting himself on the line.


  6. I come back from class and see a bunch of stories 0.0 anyways I hope Sakurai gets well. He’s shown a lot of dedication to this project.


  7. RSI is a serious condition and can take over your life. It can make you feel hopeless for the future and on the edge of suicide, it’s real stuff especially if you’re a gamer and/or musician like myself and a lot of other people who get RSI.

    I just recovered from RSI that i had for around 3-4 months, THERE IS A CURE. I wish i could talk to Sakurai myself and tell him about it. It IS real and it DOES work.

    I had pretty bad RSI, crazy numbness, tingling, and burning sensations throughout my hands and my arms. Sometimes the pain would spread to my back. I couldn’t type, i couldn’t write, i couldn’t play games or guitar, i couldn’t open jars, open doors, text on my cellphone, let alone hold a cellphone for too long, or even carry groceries. The simple tasks that we order our hands to do systematically seemed like a foreign concept to my body.

    Try tying your hands up for a month or 2 and imagining what it feels like to not be able to use them, even then you couldn’t experience the incredible pains associated with RSI not only physically but emotionally as well.

    The cure i got was from Dr. John Sarno’s book: The Mindbody Perscription.
    Sakurai, if you’re somehow reading this, please take $10 dollars from your fortune to buy and read this book, and get well soon. You don’t have to put up with RSI!!!

    P.S. we need the next smash bros. ASAP so hurry! lol


    • And a side note: with RSI, most times people will run around spending tons of money on massages, a numerous amount of doctor visits, contemplating surgery and what not, when the only tool you need to recover is your mind.

      I would Imagine Sakurai is dishing out loads of bucks looking/hoping for a cure right now, well if that doesn’t work, hopefully he finds out about this book. From all of my hard research on the topic, this is the ONLY CURE that i have found where numerous amounts of real testimonies are available sporadically across the internet; Other treatments only provide a temporary relief.


    • If you really wanna help him out, take a specific quote or two detailing the cure from that book and send an E-mail to him, somehow.
      I’m sure that he’d appreciate direct advice much more than just being told to go out and buy a book from some author he’s probably never heard of.
      It might get him the cure faster and get him back to the tasks he loves quicker.

      Having said that, I, too, hope that Mr. Sakurai recovers from that condition soon, as well.
      I love his work so far and he has yet to really steer people wrong. His guidance is an essential for a game as massive as Smash Bros is, especially for two different systems, so the quicker he recovers, the better off all of his fans and co-workers will be.
      I’m sending up a prayer to Jesus for him tonight before bed, for sure.


        • That actually sounds like a great idea.

          The book really isn’t something that you can read the cure part only and be cured, you must read it thoroughly, or listen to it audibly for it to be engraved in your mind to alter your train of thought.

          I will probably send him the book somehow, with a bunch of testimonials or something that he can relate to. At first he will probably be skeptical about the book like most people are, as i was, but eventually i am sure he will read it when options run out.

          That is if it even gets to him lol.


  8. By the way guys do any of you know of other News sites like this that are not as well known? I like sites that are not known as well because they got less trolls :/


    • hey try mynintendo3dsnews its less known go to FB search for “mynintendo3dsnews” and the FB page should come up theres a link to the site there hope that helps :)


  9. Oh, Everybody just shut up, you’re all guilty. If you say you’re not, You’re a dirty liar. The guy who brings us a game that makes each system a must-have is suffering in pain, and you just want someone to go to hell? SELFISH, I must say, BRA-VO. Let’s all give eachother a big old Round of applause, because we don’t care about a genius’ pain.


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