May 30 2008
I saw this commercial on TV the other night, and nearly gave myself whiplash shaking my head in disbelief. In fact, I had to go online to check it out, just to convince myself I hadn’t dreamt the whole thing up.
And it turns out it was real. It’s called the Wii Fit, a new product from Nintendo that is more or less a video game combined with a fitness routine. It looks a white pad — a super-fancy bathroom scale — that can read your movements and translate them onto the TV screen where you see yourself doing anything from yoga and snowboarding to strength training and, I don’t know, strutting around with your virtual muscles. I assume you can say things to virtual exercise babes like, “Hey, pretty mama, want see my serratus magnus?” (I have no idea what muscle that is, but if I had a virtual self with virtual exercise babes, I would definitely say it.)
The Wii Fit essentially brings the world of video games together with exercise, which is kind of scary considering that video games have more or less killed exercise for so many kids.
Now, let me stop for a minute: Some of it is kind of cool. The technology is pretty far out — this little device, with the help of your Nintendo, can help improve your posture while you exercise or keep track of your progress. It knows what you’re doing, and can help you do it better. That’s amazing, and much cheaper than a personal trainer who is just going to look down on you and call you a “detestable monkey” when you try to skip out on a few reps. In a world where people need to exercise more and get into better shape, anything that helps do that is a good thing.