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.

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