Having bust a gut on Guitar Hero but lost very little sweat, who would have thought that videogames would have thrust me into the middle of 'health and fitness'? This is the dawn of casual gaming where games shift in different directions away from their adolescent, adrenaline-rush rut.
The Wii Balance Board is selling squillions and surprised everyone by putting fitness in gaming. Start with your weight and body-mass index. They’ve had to tone down the language from the Japanese to
You have a personal profile, so that you can set weight-loss goals and it the tracks your progress. It offers; Yoga, Exercises, Exercise Games and Balance Games As you do your yoga, and try the poses, your performance will be tracked, as your centre of gravity is measured (it’s fundamentally two scales glued together). You are give personal high scores, that drive you towards improvement.
But it’s not all about posing and balance. You can do serious gym stuff to improve strength and muscles. Try press ups and the board will measure your strength and when you’ve done 6, unlock the 10 then 20 targets. It really does know when you’ve fluffed a press-up. You’ll break serious sweat with this thing. Then there’s the jogging game – you’ll definitely sweat on this one. And if that ain’t enough, there’s boxing for upper body exercise - skis, snowboards etc.
It’s already being trialled in rehabilitation trials in medicine, with disabled patients, elderly patients and so on. We’re clearly at the start of something rather big here.