Wednesday, January 20, 2010

WiiFit has us in fits

One of the more hilarious activities of my week so far involved a visit to my sister to play with her new toy. Saying that makes me sound about ten years old; in many ways that's what it felt like as we explored the joys of the WiiFit.

If you don't know what this is, picture a plastic rectangle rather like a set of bathroom scales, set on the floor in front of the telly to which it is connected by a wire. You stand on this, preferably in your bare feet (ok, your socks if you prefer), holding in your hand what looks and feels like a cordless telephone handset. The difference is that this is securely attached to you by a wrist strap, for reasons that became obvious when I began the sword-fighting game ... but I'll come back to that.

We began sedately enough, standing on the floor pad while the machine calibrated our age as represented by our ability to be well-balanced ("Do you fall over frequently?") and told us how ideal (or not) our BMI was. The balance exercises include such sports as ski-ing down a slalom, ski-jumping and snowboarding, for which you turn the footboard so that you stand with one foot nearer the telly than the other. You get the picture? You direct your skis by swaying your body from one side to another; you go faster by leaning forward; you do a ski jump by straightening your legs and holding the tip-toe pose while your avatar soars through the air - or not.

I've gone through all this to create the scene when Mr B took to the board. By this time my sister and I were getting wellied into the prosecco, and as Mr B swayed and crashed his way down the virtual slopes, we sat on the sofa with our glasses, swaying in unison, shrieking and giggling helplessly. It was wonderful. Later, I brought out an aggressive streak when I attempted the sword fighting, lunging dangerously close to the screen while attacking my opponent to a chorus of "Watch the telly!" The next day I ached in all sorts of strange places. Guess it might even have had some physical effect.

But the best effect of all came from the unbridled hilarity. Go on - try it.


  1. I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that the WiiFit is the one piece of technology that might persuade me to start taking regular exercise again. The one draw-back is that I'd also have to buy a television (and presumably a licence). Or is there some cheaper alternative?

  2. Not that I know of, Robin - though maybe if your telly wasn't linked to the outside world you'd not need a licence? Or can you use these things with the computer? Anyone?

  3. I hope you were suitably attired for the occasion? A friend of ours appeared in full tennis whites worthy of Wimbledon to try his hand at the Wii - won hands down as his wife was too consumed with laughter to be of any competition.
    Your sore bits? As well as tennis elbow, Hillend thumb (from Edinburgh's dry ski slope) could there now be Wii knee??

  4. More like Wii lumbago after the strange ritual of making numbers up to 10 with one's posterior!