Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wii Fit Plus or Big Brother?

For Christmas this year we finally broke down and got a Wii for the family. Along with it we got the Fit Plus with balance board. I was really excited about this since I do yoga 2 times per week at the gym and wanted to have some supplemental yoga to do on other days. So we all made our Mii's, took our body tests and started "training" with all of the neat games. The first thing that made me a bit wary was that the Fit plus requires everyone to have a weight goal. Now with hubby and me, that wasn't such a hard thing to do, but with the kids, I wasn't really sure I wanted them to have a goal of any kind. They don't necessarily need to gain weight and they certainly don't need to lose it. So we set a goal for them to stay the same weight for 2 weeks. The next thing i know they are getting upset every time they did a body test; "Mommy, I lost weight!" or "Mommy, I gained weight!". I just wanted them to play some games.

My next annoyance with this machine is its negativity. When you take a body test it gives you 2 balance tests to go with the weigh-in. No matter how well you do on these tests it picks the one that was slightly imperfect and tells you that you're not good at it. Now why is that necessary? Can't it be positive and praise you on the one you did well, or say you did pretty well on both? And if you happen to gain just one pound at a weigh-in compared to your last weigh-in it makes you choose a reason for your weight gain. Did you overeat or snack too much or not exercise or something else. Now I don't know about the rest of you, but my weight can vary a pound or 2 from morning to night each day. So depending on when I take my test that could be the sole reason for my one pound weight change, not some external thing that i did wrong.

The last issue I have with our Wii Fit plus is the Big Brother feeling i get when it asks me these strange questions about people in my family (i.e. the other Miis on the system). I went to do a body test one day and the machine asks me what I thought of my son's posture. Well, his posture is always good, so I said i hadn't noticed any change. The machine then proceeded to ask me "Are you paying enough attention to him?". I almost fell off the balance board! Who in the development department of Nintendo thought to put that little statement in the system? I suppose if you have teenage children who hide themselves in their rooms most of the time, you might want to ask yourself that every once in a while, but would anyone ever want their video game to ask them? That was just over the top!

I have to say that the negativity alone has made me somewhat reluctant to use the system. I dread stepping on that board and having it grill me about that pound that I may or may not have gained since last weigh-in and tell me I don't have good balance because I got 98% on its test. Can't they add a little encouragement to motivate people to be more active? As a parent I know that encouragement and cheer leading get way more out of my kids than telling them they aren't good enough. Doesn't Nintendo employ any parents?


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