Video-game giant does commendable job of balancing fun and fitness
This much is obvious: Nintendo will eventually have to build a gargantuan, orbiting money vault in which to store its piles of cash that no longer fit in terrestrial banking facilities.
While the company’s success can be attributed to a variety of factors, its main victory has been the ability to entice non-gamers with interfaces that require a bare minimum of button mashing. The mantra is all too familiar: easy to pick up, difficult to master. Wii Fit
continues in this tradition, offering players a piece of innovative new hardware—a sleek, white balance board that detects subtle shifts of weight. Consider it a futuristic scale you needn’t dread.
Potential applications for the balance board are only limited by developers’ imaginations, but Nintendo has already packed several great ones into Wii Fit. Tilt left and right to head soccer balls into a goal while dodging stray cleats that come hurtling at your character’s face. Shift your weight to manipulate a floating platform onscreen and guide marbles into holes without sending them rolling over the edge (each level gets progressively more difficult by changing the platform’s shape and narrowing the margin of error). Do the ski-jump mini game by crouching low and then standing up straight at the last moment to send your character soaring. I almost forgot I was doing basic squat exercises until my hamstrings started burning after my third or fourth jump.
With a title like Wii Fit, it’s hard to argue that anyone’s tricking you into exercising. Then again, why shouldn’t exercise be fun? Who said it had to involve running in place on a treadmill like a bipedal hamster in a cage? Even if Wii Fit’s mini games get a little old after a while, you might want to keep playing them just to look and feel a little young.