the spread of the Nintendo Wii to non-gamers

15 08 2007

The Nintendo Wii is starting to gain acceptance and use in many unconventional places.  Apparently video games are starting to make inroads into mainstream culture.

There’s a gym in Canada called “Studeo 55” that has a special room for those who want to play the Wii.  The owner estimates that one session of playing Wii Sports can burn between 75-125 calories.  Of course this isn’t a total workout, but the room is used for warm-up or cool down or circuit training.

You might’ve heard that a Norwegian Cruise Line has installed Wii systems aboard all their cruise ships with large video screens.  And there’s now a “Wii Fight Club”, which is spreading to multiple cities.  There was a Wiimbledon event, which, as you might’ve guessed, is a Wii tennis tournament.  There is a Wii Bowl NY group forming.  Several retirement homes have formed bowling leagues and hosted home run derby contests centered around Wii Sports.

The Wii is also starting to be used for rehabilitation.  Glenrose Hospital in Alberta, Canada, is using the Wii for therapy.  And this is therapy that can be done at home, plus it costs less than some of the other treatment methods.  The Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute in Minneapolis is now using Wii Sports to help people with motor function recovery.  It’s making the repetitious exercises more fun, which encourages participation.

This seems extreme for a video game console, doesn’t it?  But these are all true stories.  And there has to be a reason these places are placing more emphasis on video games.  While the console is popular in gaming circles, that usually hasn’t translated well to the mainstream in the past.  Many adults think video games are just for children to waste time on.  But obviously some people are starting to see it differently.  Nintendo’s “Blue Ocean” strategy is paying off well.

And I’m really excited that more people are accepting video games as viable entertainment for adults.  I know there’s some games that are best avoided, but there’s the same situation with TV and movies.  And I’d rather play an interactive video game that uses my brain than watch most of the junk that’s put out on TV.

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6 responses

16 08 2007
Fab

Clicking a remote control, eating cheetos, walking to the bathroom and back, going to the fridge for tea and snacks, and typing this post. What do all these things have in common? They all burn 75-125 calories and I don’t have to spend several hundred dollars! While I don’t doubt the fun that could be had playing some of these games, I have much better use for all that money, like paying off my mortgage.

17 08 2007
Thomas Wayne

How many calories does it take you to go to the bathroom? The other things you mentioned aren’t going to get you very close to 75-125 calories. Well, unless you eat a LOT of Cheetos.

Besides, the Wii is not meant to be an exercise machine. There’s much better equipment for that. It’s just an added benefit of getting some exercise while enjoying some gaming.

20 08 2007
Fab

Just wanted to make light of the fairly insignificant number of calories burned. And apparently, from what I read in your post, somebodyin Canada put Wiis in a gym and makes these calorie burning claims.

And as for the bathroom, let’s just say I lose a lot more weight in there than 75-125 calories would ever burn off. Not from exercise, but, well you know, what I leave behind. 🙂

Who knows, maybe it does take me 75+ calories to walk to the bathroom. It takes more energy for a fat guy to walk someplace than the average. Think about it: which would burn more fuel over a 100 mile trip, a large big rig with a trailer full of freight or a Honda Civic? Naturally, the rig would consume much more energy and thus more fuel because it is much heavier and less aerodynamic than a Civic. And the rig has a much larger engine which also burns more fuel in and of itself. The same principle applies to people. The heavier the person, the more energy and thus calories will be burned when compared to an average size person performing the same task. Plus, I’m not very aerodynamic. In other words, my fat-bodied inefficiency causes me to be a calorie burning machine. This leads me to the sad conclusion that I do indeed eat too much, which I would have never known had you not provoked this comment. Thanks a lot. Now I have low self-esteem and no self-worth. No, wait a minute, no I don’t. I’m not a chick! 🙂

21 08 2007
Say what?!

In regards to orthopedic injuries sustained in the realm of sports, the Wii is very beneficial to a patient with mild to moderate limitations in functional output. As a professional in the world of knowing most things due to my greatness, I consider this idea worth pursuing.

22 08 2007
Thomas Wayne

If you are overweight, then wouldn’t you also burn more calories from playing the Nintendo Wii? And not only would you burn calories, but you’d be having fun, which makes you more likely to do more exercise. 🙂

22 08 2007
Fab

Fun is for sissies!!!

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