So, I picked up Wii Fit last week, and only got around to using it this week. I'm very surprised by it. I don't expect that it will get me in the best shape ever or anything like that, but I've heard from several people that it helped them stay on a routine and that it was good as a warm-up or as a supplement to working out, or for days when their regular workouts weren't going to cut it.
So, moment of truth: I'm in *terrible* shape. I haven't worked out regularly since... uh... how long ago did I have to take gym class, again? Seventh grade? I went through a phase in undergrad where I was working out semi-regularly, but mostly running and stair climbing. And the reality is that I'm getting older, my diet has been pretty consistantly crap for the last few years (for a variety of reasons), and I've gone from working a retail job where I was doing a lot of lifting boxes and climbing stairs and generally being active for 7 hours a day 5 days a week, to holding desk jobs and being a grad student who plays more video games than he should.
So, to say that I'm not in the best shape of my life is, in reality, laughable. I'm clearly in the worst shape I've ever been in. And I know that my weight is not indicative of my health, and I try to remind myself that it doesn't matter how big my waistline is, as long as I'm healthy. Of course, that would carry more weight (no pun intended, actually) if I was actually healthy. Which I think it's safe to say that I'm not.
Anyway, the point is that I picked up Wii Fit because I'm trying to make a commitment to getting healthier. I'm also giving up soda and chips (two of my MAJOR weaknesses, thank you very much. I've gone from multiple cans/bottles of soda a day to only one bottle of soda in the last week. Unless you count seltzer, which I don't, since it has no sugar or chemicals in it, and doesn't actually taste very good).
The first time you turn on Wii Fit, it goes through this whole process of figuring out how healthy you are and setting up goals and all that fun stuff. I selected my Mii character (the little character you make on the Wii that represents you). I put in my age and my height, and then I stepped on the magic board to, I assume, get weighed. Then it spit out my BMI.
Now, I fully recognize the problems with BMI, but as noted above, I already know I'm not healthy, so when it told me that I was seriously overweight, almost at obese, I was not actually surprised. What I was surprised by was when it took my little Mii guy and blew him up like a balloon to show me how fat I am!
He looked very unhappy at the process, by the way.
And then, when I started doing exercises, if I didn't do them very well, it would sort of give me this passive aggressive or outright mean remarks. Not like "Come on you lazy fuck, hold the pose!" But, on one of the balance exercises, I was having trouble keeping my center of gravity where it wanted me to. So, after the exercise, while it's showing me my results, it says something like "Wow, you had trouble with that one. Do you often find yourself tripping over your own feet?"
As it happens, I don't.
Anyway, I started thinking about it, and I realized that there was another game that exhibited this kind of blatantly hostile attitude towards players when you wouldn't expect it... Animal Crossing, back on the Gamecube. You'd move into this cute little town, filled with cute anthropomorphic creatures living in cute little houses. You dig up shells, you buy cute furniture for your house, and you're supposed write letters to the other townscreatures or do errands for them. The thing is, you go up to them to say "hi" and they greet you with things like "Oh my goodness! I was scared. I thought you were a monster, but then I realized you're just wearing an ugly outfit!" They're just plain mean to you, the whole time. They tell you you're funny looking, they tell you how much better other people are at writing letters, and they insult your intelligence and your taste in art/furniture/clothes/etc.
It's got me wondering if there's some weird translation thing happening, where they increase the a-hole quotient when they translate the game for American audiences. Or maybe I'm just interpretting the interactions differently than other people?
I don't know, but it's very curious to me.
In Animal Crossing it made me write them really nasty, mean letters. Which was funny, until the other people who were playing the same town with me started to complain because the animals would brag about what a great letter they got from me, and it would be a letter telling them that I was going to burn down their house.