Thursday, February 05, 2009

Wii're Not a Good Fit.

Just like many other households worldwide, Santa thought our nice outweighed our naughty enough in 2008 that he left a Wii at our house last Christmas. Funnily enough, he also left one at Alaskagirl's house. Perhaps because they have four lots of nice people--surely the beagles' naughtiness has to detract somehow?! LOL-- their accompanying goodies outweighed ours.

One of the games they received in their stockings was the Wii Fit. Having heard various stories about it, both of the horror and the praising variety, I was curious to try it out. Watching the others play, especially Browneyedgirl and DuoLoq, was a laugh a minute. The sibling rivalry between Alaskaboy and Alaskagirl was, as always, intense.

However, the longer I watched, and the few times I participated, its shortcomings became very apparent. The two major strikes against it were how much talking the machine did in between spurts of the activities(the recommended 30 mins of activity took nearly an hour to perform!) and its obsession with weight and the BMI. Not to mention there was no option to let it know you're pregnant.

Now, I'm pretty secure within myself and about my weight, but what about those people that aren't? What about those that have no idea that you can gain muscle weight from the exercises this thing is bullying you into doing. And bully and denigrate it does, and not very subtly either. Alaskagirl who is slim, fit and with a BMI that falls well within the Normal range received the {sarcasm}oh so motivating{/sarcasm} comment "Ow!" from the thing quite often when she stepped on for her measuring.

And then, it started wanting to know our perceptions of other people's progress; Including asking if we thought they looked slimmer. WTF?!

I can see how it works for people who are just (re)discovering exercise, don't like more formalised types of exercise, or prefer a drill sergeant type of trainer but I can only imagine how many people are put off exercising ever again. And I can clearly see many people newly discovering disorded behaviours thanks to it.

The Wii Fit is a fabulous idea. The games and tasks in and of themselves are fun and do indeed get your heart rate up. Hopefully when they release successive versions of this they'll include other options of measuring your healthy progress without the putdowns. If that happens then I'd definitely buy it as a way to insert more variety into my workout schedule. As it stands now, I don't need that amount of negativity.

2 Nibbles:

Jenn said...

Ya - I have a Wii Fit myself. I might pop on it once a week, just so it makes that little downward line as I'm losing weight and I like the balance games and the yoga moves. However, most of the aerobic segments are too short, there is far too much clicking and talking between other segments (like strength or anything) and I hate that it doesn't have an option to queue up a bunch of exercises to play in a row.

It is quite negative. I have the We Ski game that uses the balance board and that thing is great. My other complaint about it is that the aerobic segments are all too easy. My hear rate barely gets to 55% of my max, not enough to improve cardiovascular health and I'm not even in good shape right now.

alaskagirl said...

It is February, and I'm still trying to beat some of Alaskaboy's records! Augh!