Exercise Not a Vital Component of Video Games
Is it just me, or are you sick and tired of all these so-called “active” video games? I mean, is exercise really a vital part of of our virtual libraries? I don’t think it is.
First, it was the Wii itself. Packaged with Wii Sports, it was supposed to get gamers ‘off the couch’ and into their games. To be fair, it succeeded for the first couple of weeks. After that, most of the Wii owners I know went back to playing their other consoles, and allowed the Wii to gather dust. Personally, I’ve found that mine makes a fine doorstop.
The next ‘fitness’ release was Wii Fit. Basically a balance board with batteries, Wii Fit allowed players to follow along with an on-screen trainer to get in shape. Unfortunately, it also informed you of exactly how overweight you were when you started, and chided you for not exercising enough. As if I don’t have a wife to do that for me!
Now EA has EA Sports Active coming out May 19. Active was designed with an actual personal trainer to help you lose more weight! Yeah, that’s right. The only reason I haven’t been using my consoles as exercise platforms was the lack of a real personal trainer.
But neither of these are the worst. At least I can avoid these types of games. Today I learned about a much worse offender, one that will likely be purchased by well-meaning spouses and parents everywhere.
Today, I heard about a new product called jOG. Made by a company in the UK, jOG connects to the Wii and replaces the nunchuk controls for movement. Looking similar to a pedometer, jOG turns your steps into character movement on the screen. So, instead of pushing an analog stick to move, you actually have to run in place to move your character.
Let’s say I love to play Madden (not that I play Madden on the Wii, but work with me here). So, every time I want to move my player, I have to actually run? If I’m going to go to all that trouble, why not just go outside and actually PLAY FOOTBALL? What about a game like Call of Duty? Do we really want to spend our time trying to line up a rifle shot while running in place? Did I just enlist in the Army when I wasn’t looking?
The concept of the jOG is simply counter-intuitive to the video game lifestyle. I realize that this is something people are looking to change, but the jOG isn’t going to do it. Let’s postulate a typical scenario. Mom wants Junior to be more active, so she buys him a jOG. “He loves video games, so this will be perfect,” she thinks.
WRONG. Junior isn’t going to use that silly thing. It’s going to be gathering dust in a bin somewhere after about 10 minutes of try-out time. Mom’s out $40 or $50, and Junior’s still a big fat ass.
So, what’s the moral of this story? It’s simple. Video games are not for exercise. By definition, they are sedentary activities. If you want to lose weight, get your ass off the couch and go exercise. If you want to play games, then play games.
Am I the only one that feels this way? Do you see your consoles as an exercise medium?