I love the Wii. I hate the Wii Fit. Here’s why.
When you first start using Wii Fit, you are immersed in the potential for fun and losing weight and exercising — and my friends and family really got into the idea of getting fit with Wii until the experience began to sour in two weeks and then die, rotted in expectation, a month later.
Nintendo decided to use the awful BMI index to determine if you are healthy or not — and right off the start, that’s is a terrible idea because BMI only considers your height and weight to decide if you’re obese, overweight, fit or underweight.
BMI doesn’t take into account muscle weighs more than fat, so if you are doing your Wii right, you will be building muscle and losing fat — but your weight will go up a bit in that transition from fat to fit — but Wii Fit doesn’t understand that crucial process so, all the while you’re losing fat and gaining muscle, Wii Fit is making fun you and mocking your progress with inappropriate and condescending comments at precisely the moment you should be educated and encouraged.
Another taxing matter of using Wii Fit is its insistence that balance is the most important part of getting fit. While I understand the point, I don’t think balance should be the mandate of the day because it only ignites hostility in the user when the Wii Fit again condescends and mocks and asks if you trip over the sidewalk when you walk if you are not perfectly balanced.
Perhaps that is the Asian way of teaching — the Asian sense of
situational humor — to mock and prod and belittle, but I can tell you
that, for fat Americans, that way of “encouraging” is enraging.
more you use Wii Fit, the more you become aware the whole program is
suited for perfectly balanced, perfectly weighted ten-year-olds and not
middle-aged New Yorkers trying to get in shape using a video game.
The balance games are not fun. In fact, they’re so annoying that you only play them once and never hope to repeat them — except for the meditation game — I win that one every time.
If you are unable to make a perfect circle with your hips, you will lose at the Hula Hoop aerobics game.
The demands of swinging your hips in one direction and then the next is taxing — but to what end? Will loose hips sink how Wii Fit ships?
The strength exercises are terribly boring and unfair in that if you can’t see your TV screen while doing all the exercises, you will miss the visual queues of when to move and when not to move. That results in a perfect exercise routine that gets you no love from the Wii Fit program.
As you progress through the strength routines, it becomes easier and easier to cheat — and you will want to cheat as often as possible just to say you were able to “get through” everything.
Finally, the Wii Fit Yoga stuff is just too easy to master. If you do Yoga the right way, it is one of the best and most challenging exercise programs in the world — yet that element of danger and perfection is missing.
When the Wii Fit pushups are harder to conquer than perfect balance in Yoga, something is horribly wrong.
Wii Fit is a great idea with poor execution — but if we use the bundled Wii Fit program as a template for what could be, instead of what is — then the possibilities for exploiting the greatness of the balance board becomes more intuitive and necessary.
I can’t wait for the shooter games to start arriving that make use of the Wii Fit balance board. A a good shoot-em-up should get the blood pumping and your heart boiling — and losing weight and mastering a real sense of life-saving balance will be your ultimate reward.