An Ergonomic Assessment of the C2 Gripz

Prepared By:                                                                                                              McClure Ergonomics Consulting Services, LLC                                              William T. McClure MS, CWCE, CEES #38654
Larry Maddy OT/L, CHT


Since its inception back in the 1950s as a science fair project, video gaming has become one of the most popular and profitable entertainment industries in the modern era.1 What started as two sticks and a ball have quickly evolved into a way for gamers to experience truly unique visuals. The ability to create portable, faster, and more complex games have allowed a new generation of gamers to revolutionize the industry. In 2019 more than 214 million Americans over the age of 18 reported playing video games for at least 3 hour per week, which equates to 64% of the adult population in the United States.2 Of that number, 49% of gamers reported gaming on a console and 52% of gamers reported playing on a desktop computer.2 It is estimated that over 70% of the children in the United States play video games regularly.2 This number is rapidly growing each year. Gaming is no longer seen as a hobby for the “nerds” or the kids, it has evolved into a mainstream activity that people of all ages and backgrounds can engage in. According to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) 79% of all gamers are above the age of 18, this is up 11% percent from just 5 years ago.2 As the “Atari Generation”, gamers from 1967-1975 era of gaming, begin to retire their average gaming sessions has begun to increase.3 As a result the average age of gamers has increased. In fact, in 2019 the average male gamer was 32 years old and the average female gamer was 34 years old, this is up 2 years for each gender from 5 years ago. 2


The rising popularity and rising age of the average gamer has also led to an increase in injuries. Console giants such as Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have taken a “one size fits all” approach when creating console controllers, which leads to people with large hands to over grip the controller and gamers with smaller hands to grip the controller unnaturally. One of the most common reported injuries De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis or more commonly known as “Gamer’s Thumb”. 4 Gamers Thumb is caused from a repetitive strain on your thumb tendons which cause them to become inflamed.4 The inflammation that results in Gamers Thumb usually begins to appear after a gaming session of 3 to 4 hours.4 The strain on the thumb is due to improper hand placement on the controller which is usually a result of over gripping the controller. Other common injuries caused by gaming, resulting from repetitive stress on the wrist, fingers or palms include Carpal Tunnel and Stenosing Tenosynovitis also known as “Trigger Finger”. 4 As the Atari Generation of gamers begin to hit old age, and their bodies start to weaken, they become more susceptible to these types of injuries. Console makers also resort to using cheap plastic for their controllers which is too stiff causes hand pain after extended use.


Companies have attempted to solve the issues faced by gamers with several different methods and products. One company created rubber skins to cover the outside of the controller to improve comfort but over time, the cover stretches and becomes loose. Another company tried to solve the issue by convincing people to glue a slab of rubber to the handles so the lower 3 fingers would rest easier. As friction is applied to this slab of rubber falls apart and you are left with a mess of adhesive remains. Scruf tried to attack the problem by creating a custom controller that allows the user to remap the buttons to paddles on the back. While this may improve certain reaction times, it fails to improve the ergonomics of the controller and still can cause long term problems. Microsoft and Sony have also attempted to copy Scruf by making elite controllers that allow remapping buttons and throwing a slab of rubber on the handles. The issue with the elite controller is the fact that is does not address the over gripping of the controllers and they are still going for a "one size fits all" model. A study conducted by Raghav Bhardwaj of the United World College in Singapore examined every aspect of the controllers from how the size of the controllers has evolved to where the buttons have been moved.5 His team concluded that as consoles evolve the ergonomics of the controller have improved over time but still have a long way to go for perfection.5 It is clear that console makers are beginning to create larger controllers which are a slight improvement but are still a “one size fits all” model. In addition, the controllers are updated only once every 10 years which proves there is more concern with mass market appeal than ergonomics and health of the end user.


The founder of C2Gripz decided to tackle the problems gamers face from a different angle. After a long day of work, he can usually be found relaxing in front of his TV playing on his Xbox. During a parachuting exercise, he injured his fifth digit, also known as the pinky finger. Several years later, his finger was causing him a lot of pain, so he got the bone fused. After the fusion, his finger no longer rested in the natural position. The fifth digit is responsible for 50% of total grip strength so without the full use of his finger he was unable to grip the controller properly which interfered with his love of gaming. The founder made getting back into gaming his top priority, so he molded a piece of plasticine around the handles of an Xbox controller and molded the plasticine to fit his hands properly. Once he crafted a mold that suited his hands, he worked with a team of product engineers to turn his mold into a 3d printed version made from Polyethylene Glycol Terephthalate - Carbon Fiber (PETG-CF). After spending several hours with the grips, he quickly realized that the grips did much more than just hold his pinky in place. He noticed that he could play for extended periods without getting fatigued like he normally would. The grip's ability to position his fingers over the buttons on the controller increased his reaction time and reduced strain on his thumbs. The added thickness at the bottom of the grips meant

that his third, fourth, and fifth digits were no longer over gripping the bottom of the controller. They were resting in a more natural position which virtually eliminated all fatigue. His friends soon noticed a change in his gameplay and wanted to know his secret. This gave the founder the idea to go back to the drawing board with his team of engineers and create a set of custom grips that could help his fellow gamers. The founder spent hours looking at the different curves, the way the controller sat on the table and the way each finger cradled inside of each finger rest. Constantly taking measurements of different parts of the hands' natural resting position and transferring those measurements over to the grips and adding and subtracting features are all designed for maximum comfort and control. Finally, after years of design work and dozens of different prototypes, he found the perfect grip. The founders aim is to make the grips fit onto a controller in the same way that a pistol grip compliments a pistol. The grips are made of a combination of rubber and plastic. The plastic is designed in such a way to reduce the weight of the overall grip and not be felt by the user. For the rubber component, a textured portion was used where the palms will rest to provide maximum gripping power, and everywhere the fingers will touch is a smoother rubber with a spongy feel to provide superior comfort. The grips will come in 4 different sizes that follow the same measurement guidelines as glove manufacturers to ensure the grips fit like a glove. The grips slide on to the handles of the controller and stay on without the need for any messy adhesives. Once in the grips, the controller sits upright on any flat surface. This is perfect for when you want to use your controller as a remote while watching a movie but do not want to lay your controller flat on the couch and accidentally press the triggers.


Along the road of development, the Founder sent prototypes out to 15 different beta testers and collected the feedback anonymously. The Founder selected a group of people from all different age ranges and backgrounds. There was a mix of casual gamers who averaged 6 hours of play per week up to the hard-core gamer who averages 5 hours or more per day. The Founder had selected 5 females and 10 males on his list of beta testers. The beta testers were located all over the world and each one offered a unique perspective. These 15 people were critical to our success in creating the perfect grip. The Founder was constantly reaching out and collecting feedback on details as minor as the pinky rest and as major as the final material selection. He and his team moved forward with the manufacturing process only after receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback on the final prototype. The Founder and his team have conducted a series of digital tests on games such as Call of Duty that having and the users overall aim improved with the use of the gripz versus not having the gripz. We also had a tester that reported an increase in overall Damage Per Second (DPS) on Elder Scrolls Online because of the improved positioning of his hands, which enabled him to reach the buttons faster. Several testers reported not experiencing any fatigue after a 4-hour gaming session. One tester stress tested the gripz for 9 hours. Normally the gamer begins to experience “Gamers Thumb” after 4 hours of gaming but after the 9 hours passed, he reported experiencing no pain. After several years of beta testing, all our beta testers are still using gripz on their controllers to this day and they all refuse to play without the gripz attached.


Our mission at C2Gripz is “We are dedicated to creating a gaming experience like no other. Our mission is to provide the best possible tools to the gaming world that enables gamers at all levels to improve their performance, exceed their goals, and achieve higher levels of play.” The C2 in C2Gripz equates to 2 C’s which means Crazy Control because every product we have designed and will design in the future will have the goal of providing the user the maximum amount of control and comfort possible. We are a gamer-centric company, and everyone employed here has a passion for video games and every decision made will be with the end user in mind.

1. Chikhani, R. (2015, October 31). The History Of Gaming: An Evolving Community. Retrieved October 05, 2020, from 2. ESA, E. (2019, August 19). 2019 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry. Retrieved October 05, 2020, from 3. DID, E. (2018, December 13). D.I.D Electrical Blog. Retrieved October 05, 2020, from 4. Uppleger, A. (2018, September 18). Gamer's Thumb and Other Gaming Hand Injuries. Retrieved October 05, 2020, from 5. Bhardwaj, R. (2017, April 7). The Ergonomic Development of Video Game Controllers. Retrieved October 05, 2020, from


Written by: Gehry Wiesner Director of Operations, Rob Braiman Founder and President, C2Gripz LLC 7027 Albert Pick Rd., Ste. 300, Greensboro NC 27409

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