If you read the notes of the small design team that developed the ground breaking Wii Fit exergame, you quickly realize that Miyamoto wanted the game to be fun, he used his own life experiences and those of team members to build the model, and he wanted fitness to involve the entire family.
Those characteristics are consistent with the message I’ve been promoting, reflected in the acronym FIT:
F: Fun—Make exercise fun and playful.
I: Integrate—Integrate your exercise routine into your lifestyle.
T: Together—Team up with others so you can give each other support and encouragement.
With his blueprint and the talent of his colleagues, Miyamoto created a product that hit the mark. Over a million customers have purchased Wii Fit since it was introduced in Japan last year. The exergame will be introduced in the United States and Europe this spring (it is expected to sell for less than $100), and extraordinary sales volumes are anticipated.
Wii Fit relies on a peripheral balance board that measures the weight, locates the center of gravity and calculates body mass index of the user. It also counts steps, serving as a pedometer.
Four kinds of exercises are offered: aerobic, muscle and strength building, stretching and balance. The exergame has 6 to 10 activities associated with each category. For example, aerobic choices might include step exercises or jogging, and balance exercises might involve tightrope walking.
The Wii software displays the progress of family members on graphs and charts and comes with its own dedicated Wii television channel.
Miyamoto explains the logic behind the game’s design: “What it’s actually aiming to do is make you aware of your body.” Once we become aware of our bodies, he believes we will choose healthier lifestyles.
Although the technology seems a little daunting, I’m game to try it (excuse the pun). What about you and your family?