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How Mario Party And The N64 Controller Led To A Major Lawsuit Against Nintendo

"Mario Party" was just one of the many fun and exciting new franchises that Nintendo debuted on the N64. Brimming with dozens of mini-games for players to learn and master, the game launched a full-on series that's still going on today with its 25th entry. This is with good reason, as the game is, true to its name, an exceptionally entertaining party game that even non-gamers can learn to play with relative ease.


Of course, there are downsides to "Mario Party." As anyone who has ever had their stars stolen by a "friend" during a round or unexpectedly lost after one of their opponents was awarded a bonus star will tell you, like "Monopoly," this game is serious, friendship-ending business.

Still, losing isn't the worst thing that can happen to players when they sit down for a round of "Mario Party." As blister-handed veterans of the late '90s and early '00s will tell you, this game can be deadly for your palms if you play too aggressively.

Many players injured their palms playing Mario Party on N64

The Nintendo 64 came equipped with the first fully functional, 8-direction analog stick, and naturally, "Mario Party" took advantage of the feature with some of its mini-games. Unfortunately, the competitive nature of the game meant that some players went overboard while using their palms to turn the stick faster than their thumbs were capable of.


If you're of a certain age, you'll remember the telltale signs of "Mario Party" trauma, but you might not know that Nintendo was sued for the injuries sustained by hapless players. A 2002 article from CNET breaks down the lawsuits in question and how Nintendo was prompted to offer gamers free gloves in order to help reduce the injuries that were coming from kids playing the games in the series up until that point.

Incredibly, the lawsuit alleges that some kids sustained injuries simply by playing "Mario Party" for only 15-20 minutes. They were amateurs, obviously. But, in all seriousness, these reports were frequent enough that Nintendo was forced to settle the lawsuit by offering free pairs of sports gloves to anyone who requested them.


While the problem could also be solved by simply playing the mini-games with your thumb instead, when there are precious stars on the line, players will do whatever it takes to win. Unfortunately for Nintendo, they had to learn this the hard way.