After Hours

Will gamers embrace Wii Fit?

Nintendo introduces an exercise package to its popular Wii game console. Will your regular gamers embrace it?

Regular readers of this blog know all about my reluctance, for right or wrong, to embrace social networking. And you know about my confusion and puzzlement over recent trends toward virtualizing human experience (i.e., companies sponsoring virtual golf outings to let employees "get to know each other." Blech!]

But now Nintendo is really pushing the limits of my tolerance with a package for its Wii game console that will supposedly help me get in shape. Basically, Nintendo is taking what is for me one of the most attractive qualities of gaming -- being sedentary -- and blowing it all to pieces.

I have to admit the new Wii Fit is ingenious, and it's a healthy and positive thing. But I was breaking into a sweat just Wii-bowling. Can you imagine what this will do to me?

I guess it's not as much of a different way of thinking as that which led to Jane Fonda making a gazillion dollars in the '80s off workout videos. But I hated those too.

Seriously though, the package includes simulated activities like skiing and yoga; basically all the things I'd be too embarrassed to do in a group anyway. And if it catches on with all those overweight, diabetes-bound 'tweens the media is always predicting early death for, then more power to it.

The only drawback I can see is that Wii Fit, which comes with a 10-pound platform that users can stand on, apparently also weighs them and calculates body mass. When you log on in the mornings, it asks, "Did you sleep well?" "Did you have breakfast yet?" It also tries to make you feel guilty if you don't log on for a few mornings. Seriously. They maybe could have done without that "benefit," or maybe just offered it as the Wii Nag add-on.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

14 comments
m.vuk
m.vuk

I love Wii Fit. I have lost 10 lbs and charted my progress on Wii Fit. I monitor my body fat. How do I send this to my computer in order to get a printed copy of the graph? thanks Mary

JimInPA
JimInPA

My wife just got Wii fit and she has been sore from it for a couple days so it must be working. When we first got it I was playing alot of Tiger Woods 2008 and you actually have to swing the club and everything. Sadly, admittedly I was sore for the first couple days. I don't know if that speaks to the physicality of the game or the shape I am in but it was definitely exercise.

treyperry25
treyperry25

Personally, I own Wii Fit and can't get enough of it. I was already in shape but this helps tone my muscles and establish proper posture. I agree with G-Man, if you don't like it, don't buy it.

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

If a doctor recommends, or even prescribes, the Wii Fit for someone, does it become eligible for flex spending reimbursement?? Talk about a marketing advantage...play games, get fit, all tax free.

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

where you pedaled a virtual flying machine. The faster you pedaled the faster it went. It wasn't a fitness machine because it cost a dollar for the first minute(?). So unless you spent a lot of money you wouldn't get fit. Personally, I like the concept. Virtual games that get you active but keep the mind interested. That's similar to normal sports. The advantage is people might actually use it. The disadvantage is such machines are not cost effective. You can do better with some books/mentoring, walking, stretching, etc for far less cost. As far as the Wii goes, the commercials look silly. But if it works for some people then good for them.

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

it is all about choice. Millions will, millions will not. At least there is choice and innovation here!

swheeler
swheeler

I get bored with exercise. I want to be accomplishing a task when I'm exerting myself. If Wii Fit can meet that need for me then it's worthwhile. (I'm actually waiting for a friend of mine to try it out first.) I don't believe the gaming set will catch a fitness craze from this. I think it will give kids some leverage in getting their parents to spring for the game system. It's an addition to the console that serves family members who normally would not use it. Mom can do her yoga and the kids get more games.

treyperry25
treyperry25

Why go to the gym when you can work out in the comfort of your own home.

ctp722
ctp722

Seeing all of the things it has to offer and taking it for a test drive myself, there is no way this can offer anything more than the most basic of fitness levels. And does not address the most important thing in our overweight population...DIET!! But it is fun to play, I just sincerely hope people aren't going to think it can deliver weight loss.

Reb00t
Reb00t

If some of the 65% of fat Americans shed some pounds from this, what harm is there? If you feel that bad about your body that you can't stand a video game nagging you, maybe it's time to turn off the TV and Cheetos and go outside!?

jdclyde
jdclyde

better buy more than one system. If this is for the kids to play games, when would you get a chance to exercise with it? If it isn't convenient, it won't be done.

puppybreath
puppybreath

I have one and agree, it's not the best way to lose weight but it is good for toning. It has quite a few yoga and strength exercises that will help stretch you out and be more flexible. After sitting for 10-12 hours a day looking at a monitor, it's not a bad way to get the kinks out. And if you aren't huffing and puffing after a round of hula hoops, then you're in much better shape than I am. :-)

Reb00t
Reb00t

Sorry, the humor didn't come through right. I need to turn my serious filter off.

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