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I’ve Met the Wii-minatrix

I knew we’d get to the day when technology could finally humiliate me physically, just like it’s humiliated me mentally for all these years. For every application that won’t run, gadget that won’t sync, or file that can’t be found, I know that the computer is there laughing at me.

With Wii Fit, the human condition and its relationship to technology migrates to the body. The Wii Fit, as you probably know by now, is Nintendo’s new add-on for the Wii. (*The Wii is not part of the Wii Fit purchase.) It looks like a white plastic rectangle. You stand on it, and the board, equipped with sensors, responds to the player’s movements and weight. I love using the new Wii Fit to get a bit of a workout, but seriously, Nintendo isn’t just laughing at me, it’s having a hysterical fit as it watches me exercise.

The Wii Fit games are all about working up a sweat and building stamina and strength. There’s yoga, strength training, muscle toning, and aerobic exercise. I learned to lean my body from side to side while bashing soccer balls with my head, swooshed down a slalom ski run, held a yoga pose, did a bunch of leg extensions, and swiveled my hips with an imaginary hula hoop. I checked in with Wii Fit friends and they were all having as much fun as I was.

But inside those cute games and the innocent Wii Fit board lurks what I’ve come to call the Wii-minatrix. First she embarrasses you (in my case publicly) by asking for a base level on your Body Mass Index (fat), weight, and balance. Then she starts on your litany of flaws: overweight, unbalanced, and more. She commands you to step off the board and step back on for no apparent reason. Finally, if you don’t show up every day for your workout, she’s there tapping her virtual foot and pointing her virtual finger. Next, she starts to hammer you. And adding insult to injury is the fact that I look incredibly silly as I’m trying to hold my pose or bat a ball with my head. I’m sure Wii-minatrix is laughing through the whole session. It’s sort of like Hal (from 2001) meets The Soup Nazi (from Jerry Seinfeld).

Despite being a bit of a bully, the Nintendo Wii Fit is a total winner. You have a blast, work up a sweat, and lose those inhibitions, all while you’re shedding extra pounds. Wii Fit gets my thumbs (make that my whole body) up! Kids of any age will fall in love.