Monday, June 16, 2008

does this wii make my butt look big?

before seeing any articles on the subject, i saw a commercial for the new video game, "wii fit."  my first thought was, this is something i would be far more inclined to do - daily - rather than the workout mode on DDR.  i've got to be honest; the concept is pretty kick ass.  people love video games, especially those that they can interact with.  in fact, it seems people would much rather be indoors staring at a 5o" screen than out being an active member of society.  so, why not make the people happy and let them play video games all day, but keep their bodies moving?  i can tell you i would be more inclined to exercise if i had a video game that let me do aerobics, yoga, and strength training - as i pleased - all in one day.

so, wii fit basically rocks, right?
well, hold on.  before you jump into your mii personality and get your balance training on, wii needs to evaluate your physique, via bmi.  this equation, (mass/height)^2, is how to determine whether you are underweight, "ideal", overweight, or obese.  if you're a clinician - or have spent so much time in ED treatment that you might as well be one - then you know the flaws of this measurement.  it is a very loose guideline for physical health.  the measurement also does not take muscle mass into consideration.  2 men of equal weight and height, 1 perfectly fit and well-built and 1 rather overweight, will have the same bmi.  (please, correct me if i am wrong, here.)
unless you are discussing this with a doctor or clinician, no average person should be left to read their bmi if they've never seen it before (or if they already have a weight complex..).  however, the wii leaves you alone with it and has left a perfectly fit and active 10-year-old girl telling her parents she needs to lose weight.  so, what to do here?

i am completely in favor of a video game that helps you workout and stay active.  it's the same as watching a home workout tape (without the 80s workout outfits that drown out the music).  if you're going to play video games, you might as well keep yourself moving (to a healthy degree, of course).  but is it necessary for the game to know your physical stats?  perhaps, to make sure that the workouts are appropriate for your build and to track your progress in terms of muscle improvement.  i haven't played the game, so i don't even know if it does this.
however, should children be playing this game?  is there a way that the game does not have to tell you your bmi unless your age is 18+?  is it even necessary in the first place?

at this point, i don't know what else to think.  i'm more confused about how i feel about the game than i was when i started blogging about it.  feel free to share your thoughts, especially if you've actually experienced it.


b said...

Okay, so I totally wanted to buy this game. And, I won't lie, that sneaky bastard, Ed, was telling me so. BUT I do not think it's a good game to play for us eating disordered persons especially, but for many people in general, i.e. impressionable 10 year olds who are now being given a complex. I have a friend with anorexia, and she has the game, and now she's obsessed with watching the numbers go down that some damn video game gave her. She's underweight, and the game said that it was "appropriate" for her to want to lose 5 lbs. How screwed up is that?

I think the idea is great, but like you said, I think it would be better without the numbers. The last thing we need is some freaky pez-like looking cartoon character telling us we're fat.

I really have a blog crush on you, too. :)

Michelle said...

i read an article where it told a 7 year old she was fat. disguiting.

Anonymous said...

I love Wii Fit, after I unlocked the boxing and free run I've been playing it nearly every day.

Wii Fit isn't good for people who may become overly concerned with their BMI. The game only makes you do the body test when you register, after that it is up to you. If you can ignore that first number and don't do the test after, it could be okay.

Random, but when you have other people registered on Wii Fit the game will ask you about their progress. If you say that person is the same it will say you aren't paying enough attention and then tell you things about dogs! How eye contact is important in dog-owner relation ships and more attention is good for dogs. :p

yumi said...

I linked these sites, too.
Let's exchange a lot of information.
The daughter likes Wii Fit. and I also sometimes borrow and play.
I enjoy with the daughter as part of play and the game rather than the diet purpose.

Anonymous said...

Wii Fit has been a positive addition in nursing homes, as well.

I think, in spite of its drawback you mentioned, it has too many pluses to throw it aside.

I may have to get one ...

Jackie said...

Hi, first time commenter here! I am anorexic and I have the wii fit. My BMI was already considered underweight, even according to the game, yet when I put that I wanted to lost 5 more pounds, it encouraged me and even gets mad when I don't lose pounds! So if you have an eating disorder, I would say don't get it. But if you are "normal" and can handle stuff like this, it actually is fun. And you actually can play it without weighing yourself and putting in weight loss goals, but as an anorexic, the temptation is too much. That is just my two cents :)

Anonymous said...

Well with the whole 7 year old bit, was she fat to begin with. just because you are young does not mean you should not watch your weight. but if the girl was skinny and healthy then fine thats retarded, but if not then maybe it should be a cue to the parents to stop feeding there kids Macdonald when ever they start crying.