SAN DIEGO - A 29-year-old San Diego man is sharing his story about how a crush on Candy Crush led to the operating table.
At the beginning of 2014, "Brian" played the popular matching game on a smartphone continuously during a six to eight week stretch.
Brian, who had just left the Navy, was killing time before he started his civilian job. A TV remote in his right hand, Brian used his left hand to play Candy Crush for more than six hours a day.
"I got sucked in and that's all I was doing. I was trying to catch up to my friends who had played it for months on end," said Brian.
Dr. Andrew Doan of the Naval Medical Center San Diego explained what Brian was also doing to his thumb.
"The tendon runs right over the bone. So as the person clicks over it, that tendon gets worn out and inflamed," said Dr. Doan.
Weeks after the non-stop play, Brian ruptured a tendon and ended up in surgery. Dr. Doan says he should have felt pain long before, but he didn't.
"While I was playing it, I didn't feel any pain," said Brian.
According to Dr. Doan, when video games are played, adrenaline, cortisol and other chemicals are released. He also believes endorphins, which are natural painkillers, are also released.
In a study at the University of Washington, video games are being played by burn victims. “It actually deadens their pain where nurses can scrub their wounds,” said Dr. Doan.
If video games come with a painkilling effect, Dr. Doan worries kids can get hurt and not know it. He also believes there is a potential for addiction.
"If you have something like a digital painkiller in the form of video games, it's an easy outlet for a child to use that excessively," said Dr. Doan.
Dr. Doan and a team of Navy doctors just published a report on the Candy Crush case. We reached out to the makers of Candy Crush but haven’t heard back.