While Nintendo is still dancing all the way to the bank from last Christmas's amazingly successful sales of Wii Game Systems-- they've decided to add another waltz to the dance cards: Wii Fit.
It's a predictable idea and I'm surprised it's taken this long to roll out exercise activities for a system already said to get people off their seats and actively engaging with the game. (Controllers through the TVs while bowling anyone?) Part of me wonders though what will make this that much different from other fitness DVDs that are collecting dust in many of our homes. Will holding a controller in our hands make us better at exercise or more engaged in our hula hoop routines?
A single summer's addiction to Sonic the Hedgehog aside (fueled by pots of coffee and instant chocolate pudding), I've never been much of one for video games. In college I was somewhat fascinated with Harvest Moon, but never actually mastered the controller well enough to understand just how it was that one wooed a wife and petted the cows. [Though, if that was available as a PC game, I might consider it.] And, though I'd watch the guys play while I was hanging out with them, I could not understand the fascination with Grand Theft Auto Vice City that overran my friend Romeo's fraternity.
Gamespot has a thoughtful review, suggesting it as a good place to keep track of one's exercise goals rather than as the sole source of where one exercises. For people already very actively engaged with their Wii's, this may be a very beneficial chance to add healthy and needed exercise in their lives. I have a hard time with the idea of selling this to the teens I see gaming in my library, though, and most of the people I've met who are very concerned with their exercise levels are actively tracking using free or paid sites online.
The program will probably go over well and I'd be interested to see all it can do, but for now I will express reserve that it will motivate the nation to get fit.