II spoke live via phone with KSRO 1350 AM morning show host Curtis Kim from Amelia Beach Florida about today's North American launch of Wii Fit. According to Nintendo, the marketing campaign for Wii Fit will be their biggest in history. With already 3.38 million units sold (2.04m Japan, 1.34m UK) the US market has been clamoring for this new game to add to the most popular new game console (26 million units). Time will tell if this game can live up to its expectations, but as I told Curtis, there are four possible benefits to playing exergames like Wii Fit. 1) Games may help you to become aware of your body and especially your body's position in relation to other body parts (proprioception); 2) eGAMEs - Electronic Games for Movement Enjoyment. Games should foster enjoyment and fun through physical movements; 3) Games done with others are inherently more enjoyable; and 4) Receiving feedback about performances (balance) and other assessments (BMI) might encourage players to continue playing. Keeping these four benefits in mind, if they can be attained without the use of exergames – then go for it. Maybe our inability to craft meaningful and enjoyable physical experiences has been our undoing. Perhaps Wii Fit will push us to refocus education, recreation, and play and be the “Gateway Game” that ushers in a healthier and active lifestyle beyond those electronically mediated.
Press play to listen to my six-minute segment on KRSO 1350 AM Radio recorded May 21, 2008.