A Geek's Perspective On Wii Fit - Review

By Ryan


Strength Training on the Wii Fit

I got a Wii Fit for Christmas and was super excited. Not only do I love the idea of having an easy, indoor exercise solution during the cold days of winter, but as a geek there was just something beautiful about the idea of my video game system doubling as my exercise gym.

My expectations were high, but did Wii Fit live up to them? The short answer is no. Here’s why.

There are three major shortcomings with Wii Fit in my opinion.

1) Wii Fit Is Missing Defined Exercise Programs
Perhaps the most glaring problem with Wii Fit is that it has no prescribed exercise program. You are left to your own devices in putting together a daily regiment. But I found this to be a major defect, because most of us would like to optimize the time we put into working out, and instead we are left guessing as to what is most effective. What Wii Fit should have provided, but didn’t, was the ability to take a quiz to determine what’s most important to you (weight loss, strength training, etc.) Each day, it would ask “How much time do you have to work out today?” Based on this information it could suggest 3-5 workout programs custom fit to your needs. But alas, nothing like this was present.

2) Too Much Downtime Between Exercises
As others have noted, it takes too much time to move onto the next exercise once you are finished with the previous one. Sure, if you’ve just taken a 10 minute jog, the minute or so it takes to move from the end of one exercise to the beginning of another is fine. But if you’re doing simple 1-2 minute, low-impact exercises, you quickly find that you spend half your time navigating the menus rather than keeping that heart rate up. Most of us have trouble fitting exercise into our daily routines. When it takes 30 minutes to do 15 minutes worth of exercising on the Wii Fit, it takes a psychology toll, and it feels like time is wasted.

3) Wii Fit Fails To Motivate
One of the most promising things of an exercise system built into a video game is the ability to motivate. Motivation is usually the number one inhibitor to daily exercise. Wii Fit could have easily implemented a deeply addictive RPG leveling up component to the game. But all we have to motivate us to use Wii Fit is the prospect of unlocking new exercises, losing weight and putting in more exercise hours….hardly things unique to Wii Fit. If anything, the Wii Fit is de-motivational because you know that if you take a few days off, you’ll get lectured. To drive home the idea that Wii Fit fails to motivate: I only lasted two weeks before I thoroughly lost interest.

At the end of the day, as a Geek, I needed more structure, more efficiency and more gaming elements built into the system. As it stands, not only was I bored with Wii Fit, but I also constantly felt like I was wasting time.

Ryan is a co-founder of the online information project Brainz.

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