Nintendo's attempt to help fight the obesity epidemic
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I'm Gaming Jay: Youtube gamer, let's player, fan of retro games, and determined optimist... Join me in this series while I try out EACH of the video games in the book 1001 VIDEO GAMES YOU MUST PLAY BEFORE YOU DIE, before I die. The game review for each game will focus on the question of whether you MUST play this game before you die. But to be honest, the game review parts are just for fun, and are not meant to be definitive, in depth reviews; this series is more about the YouTube gamer journey itself. From Mario games to the Halo series, from arcade games to Commodore 64, PC games to the NES and Sega Genesis, Playstation to the Xbox, let's play those classic retro games that we grew up with, have fond memories of, or heard of but never got a chance to try! And with that said, the game review for today is...
Wii Fit (Wiiフィット Wī Fitto) is an exergaming video game designed by Nintendo's Hiroshi Matsunaga for the Wii home video game console. It is an exercise game consisting of activities using the Wii Balance Board peripheral. As of March 2012, Wii Fit has held the position of third best selling console game not packaged with a console, with 22.67 million copies sold.
The game uses a unique platform peripheral called the Wii Balance Board, on which the player stands during exercise. The game features yoga, strength training, aerobics, and balance games. Matsunaga described the game as a "way to help get families exercising together". Wii Fit has been used for physiotherapy rehabilitation and has been adopted by various health clubs around the world. Additionally, the game has been used in nursing homes to improve posture in the elderly. The game has received generally positive reviews, despite criticism over the lack of intensity in some of its workout activities.
Wii Fit requires the use of the Wii Balance Board, a unique platform peripheral that the player stands upon during play. Similar to a bathroom scale, the Wii Balance Board is capable of measuring a person's weight, but is also able to detect the person's center of balance (COB),a feature heavily utilized in the game. Wii Fit contains more than 40 activities designed to engage the player in physical exercise, which consist of yoga poses, strength training, aerobics, and balance games. Most activities generally focus on maintaining COB and improving posture.
Players register and play in Wii Fit via a user profile, assigned with the player's date of birth, height, and Mii character, that keeps track of the player's progress. Physical activities done outside of Wii Fit can also be logged into the profile. Wii Fit allows up to eight different profiles to be registered.
Wii Fit was first revealed as Wii Health Pack by Nintendo's chief game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, during a conference in mid-September 2006. Then described as a "way to help get families exercising together", the game idea had first been included in Miyamoto's original design document for a core group of games including Wii Sports and Wii Play, the entirety of which was scribbled onto a sheet of paper.
As with other games designed by Miyamoto such as Nintendogs, the design of Wii Fit was influenced by activities in his daily life. He states that he and his family had become more health-conscious, going to the gym and tracking their weight. He found that it had become "fun over time to talk about these things", and as weighing oneself "didn't make much of a game", Nintendo decided to build games around the idea to mesh with the concept. The Wii Balance Board had been worked on for "almost two years", and was inspired by sumo wrestlers' need to weigh themselves with two scales.
The game was announced under its current title at Nintendo's E3 press conference on July 11, 2007, and demonstrated by Miyamoto, Nintendo of America CEO Reggie Fils-Aime and other participants. Miyamoto revealed that Wii Fit had been developed with a "full-scale" team for a year at the time, and also stated that there were no plans to integrate WiiConnect24 functionality into the game. He did note, however, the possibility for taking advantage of WiiConnect24 in the future, such as using the service to keep in contact with a doctor to help with rehabilitation, or with a fitness specialist to help with training exercises.