Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wii, Wii, Wii, All The Way Home

I hate it when I fit into a mold - especially a marketing mold. But, that is where I find myself right now. I am the soccer mom to whom Nintendo is marketing its newest piece of the gaming world, Wii Fit.

It is no secret that I am a video game addict. Don't get me wrong, this is not bad or anything. It has saved my sanity and my GPA for many years. As an undergraduate in North Carolina, every night after I had finished practicing and studying, I headed to a local pizza joint to play just one game of Pac-Man or Dig Dug. Because I had played so much, I quickly got to a point where I only spent one quarter a night. And even then, I often left a game with many lives still to go. This habit cost less than $2.00 a week - cheaper than a psychiatrist even back it the early 80's.

I was the one who two hours before I got married was at this very pizza joint playing one last game as a single woman. This game fix made me feel much better than having my nails or my hair done. Since this time, I have continued to play games. There have been periods in my life where I dedicated more time than others to game playing, but I have always had a game to turn to to relieve stress and anxiety. Most recently, it is Zuma. I must say that unlike some, I do not have this, or any other game, on my phone. This activity is restricted to the privacy of my own office on my own desktop computer. Some things never change. It is usually late at night, after all the day's obligations have been fulfilled, that I click on "that" button for just one late night encounter with a game.

That all changed this weekend. I bought Wii Fit, the game that Nintendo hopes will draw the mother of the family into the gaming world that dad and the kids have enjoyed for so long. It worked. I am hooked. I am not sure why because this thing talks ugly to you. It tells you how much you weigh, what your BMI is, whether or not you are overweight, and what your "Wii age" is.

I'm OK with the weight thing even if it says that I need to lower my BMI two points. I am even OK with the fact that It tells me I have balance problems. (I tend to allow more weight to be carried by my left side than my right). But I can't deal with this "Wii age" thing. The program asks you your age and your birth date, nothing too personal, and then it has you perform some basic balance and agility exercise. Based on all of this information, it calculates your Wii age. It told me I was 50. In the big scheme 3 1/2 years is not that big a deal, but 50?!

On my second day of training with this lovely piece of software, I discovered that you can recalculate you age every day based on how you improve. This isn't so bad after all. It is the only place where as the days pass, I actually get younger.

Seriously, this thing is way too much fun. I spent most of yesterday working on one of the balance games that simulates slalom skiing. I was going to get through all 10 of those gates before I quit. And I did. I also did the ski jump, a light jog through the park, some step aerobics, and learned some new yoga poses.

I don't know if the three or four hours I spent playing these games yesterday is the best way to spend that kind of time, but I can say with confidence that this is the best $90 I have spent in a long time.

I'll let you know how old I am tomorrow.