No Thank You Nintendo

I hope everyone has been having a wonderful holiday season!  I know I have, it is so nice to be home from school and be able to spend time with my family and friends that I don’t get to see very often.

Sunday night I spent the night at an old friend’s new condo.  I had a great time reminiscing, getting caught up on her life and being silly.  We also pulled out her Nintendo Wii (I had never played before).  It was so much fun!  I really want one for myself now.  However, one of the games that we played with was Wii Fit Plus.

Have you ever played Wii Fit? I know that it is meant for fitness, which is great and way better than sitting and pushing buttons for video games.  But never in my life have I felt so judged by a video game!  When you first start playing Wii Fit, you step on the Fit board and it looks at your center of balance and calculates your BMI!  I was not expecting this when we decided to play.  I felt for a second like I was back at the doctor’s office, being scolded for being fat.  By a VIDEO GAME!  Isn’t this a bit ridiculous?  My friend awkwardly ran out of the room at this point, saying that this stuff was personal and she did not need to see.  This made it even more awkward, and I explained to her that it was fine and I didn’t care (I mean, she can see that I’m fat with her own 2 eyes).  So the Wii Fit told me I was OBESE (big surprise!…not) and made some “oh no!” noises.  It plumped up my little Wii character on the screen to portray and ridicule my fatness.  And then it made me set a goal for how much weight I wanted to lose using the Wii!  And after every game it counted how many calories I’d supposedly burned.

Excuse me Nintendo, did I ASK for you for some good old fashioned fat-shaming and patronizing weight-loss regiments that will only make me feel like a failure?  No.  I just wanted an active way to have fun.

I will say, though that a lot of the Wii Fit games are a lot of fun!  Which is a shame because, if I had a Wii, I would totally want Wii Fit for the games, but I’m not sure I would actually buy it because of how it presents health and fitness as related to BMI.  They should at least give you the option in the beginning where you can choose if you are using the Fit as a weight-loss regiment, or just for fun.  So you could skip the part where a video game reminds you how inadequate you supposedly are.

That’s my rant.  Have a splendid New Year!!

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by hsofia on December 29, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    You have to remember that this is a game from Japan, where the average BMI is just under 22. I have family in Japan, and it is a completely different world there. My sister in law, who weighs less than 100 lbs, is seriously considered “fat” by Japanese standards.


  2. yes, this is my problem with the Wii Fit, too. Can’t we just be active for the sake of fun?


  3. Posted by Anna on December 29, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    I feel your pain! I think the Wii fit is stacks of fun, but I don’t want to buy into an industry that shames me.


  4. Posted by sleepydumpling on December 30, 2009 at 7:45 am

    I think Nintendo REALLY need to tweak their marketing on the Wii suite. Because this is a gaming suite that will get people moving who might otherwise not do so. It’s fun, it’s addictive and it gives you a great endorphin rush. But they’re undoing all that work with the stupid shaming and judgemental crap they’ve tacked on to it.

    Instead of shaming, they need to tweak that it keeps encouraging, encouraging, encouraging. More people will play with it if it says “Well done, keep going!” than if it says “You can do better than that, lard arse.”


  5. After the first stupid weigh in thing, you never have to do that part again, or even check in with it. You can always choose to skip the, whaddya call it? Body test? I think? Anyhow I love the WiiFit games, the WiI sports (that come with the system) and one called We Cheer 2. I was NOT a cheerleader ever, but you wing the Wiimotes like pom-poms and dance to fun pop music like Mickey by Toni Basil and Wild Child and its foolish good times. My husband even plays with me and our 7 year old. 🙂 🙂


  6. Posted by meerkat on December 30, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    I loathe Wii Fit. It measures your success by how close to BMI 22 you come. (I love the Wii itself but not as much as I love the Nintendo DS.)


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