I selfishly "borrowed" the Wii Fit board at work for the long Memorial holiday, although it was more like grand larceny with the kind of looks people gave when I called shotgun. And boy was I sorry to give it back today. I called every single store I could think of, and many no one has ever thought of, and places were sold out within an hour or two. Fry's Electronics emptied their hoard of 80 in three hours. Nintendo stock, Nintendo stock.
Like all things Nintendo makes, if you try it with an open mind and the intention to find something enjoyable, you usually will. The Wii Fit board was no exception, delivering a level of fun and intangible feelgood that I never expected in the three months I had the opportunity to place a pre-order. Along with the Mii channels, Wii Sports, Everybody Votes, and their Brain Age games, the Wii Fit board capitalizes on something that Nintendo has dominated to great commercial success: our desire to discuss ourselves. Everything about the Wii Age and the Brain Age rankings, the nifty progress graphs, the popularity contests, etc. are about finding the personal information we're secretly dying to examine and share. It's that famous saying that our favorite subject is ourselves.
So does it work?
Well, my sore abs, bruised feet, and Xstine's whole aching body can attest that it definitely does more than we ever thought a video game capable of. There is no doubt that with regular use, it can make you fit. That's not to say you can bulk up, or run marathons, but for the average inactive potato, it's great to work out in the fun and comfort of your own living room.
To all those parents out their shocked that the game told your precious spawn that they were overweight or obese… yeah, your kid is probably fat. Or you didn't read the part in the manual where it explicitly states that BMI is not an accurate index if your kid is muscled from all the sports they supposedly do. And most importantly, you haven't taught your kids that their self-image should never be dependent on the non-judgemental conclusions of a mindless toy. Unless your child really is "big-boned," promise.