Monday, May 12, 2008

Wi Fit party helps dystonia?

Frankly before I went to the Wi Fit party, I regarded Wii Fit as a bit of joke.  My husband showed me the Wii Fit parody.   "Wii Fit...a little plastic thing you stand on" "Don't want to invest $3.19 for a hula hoop,  why not pick up a Wii for just $300, and enjoy the same fun.. without that annoying plastic hoop?"

But hey, if Nintendo and City Mama offers me free food and drinks and a moms night out, I'm game..literally.   I bought a Wii from going to her last Nintendo Wii party. 

The party started out a bit nervously as the Nintendo folks demonstrated the body check.  Okay they picked the skinniest mom in the room whose BMI was listed as underweight, but looking around, I thought few would volunteer for that part. 

Then it was on to various "Balance Games" We started with the ball game.  It sounds simple enough.  You shift your weight around to tilt a surface and move a ball into a hole.  Then you get more balls and more holes.  I could see it would improve my balance, because I was concentrating on moving the ball rather than on what I was doing with my body.  I did quite well in that game.  Okay not greatest game ever, but considering that I was improving my balance, it was not a bad way to do it.

The Wii Fit also liked how I performed a yoga position. Now that was a joke, because due to my disability, dystonia, I kept jerking and the little bubble that showed your center of balance kept shifting.  Still I got 3 out of 4 stars.  I don't do much yoga in real life due to my jerking, and I don't think I'll be doing Wii Fit Yoga again. 

I enjoyed more a silly game where you're a Mii (a Wii version of a person) dressed in a penguin suit and you're on a iceberg and balance from side to side and catch fish.

I also enjoyed Slalom where like in real life you have to shift your weight from side to side to move your skiis. I was atrocious and big red FAILED showed on the screen.  For the ski long jump if you fail your Mii tumbles over and over in a big snowball.

I pondered whether the decision to keep the decidedly Japanese culture of winners and losers was a thought-out marketing decision, or simply a direct translation of the game from Japan as I watched women down Odwalla shots.  Now Odwalla makes you feel good.

I decided to play a "Fitness game." or "Step on the white thing"
according to the parody.  I know some geeks who use Dance Dance Revolution as exercise.  As the parody suggests, it was far slower which is good for a klutz like me, but also far less interesting.  The characters were all Miis and the music unvarying Ninetozak.  If you've played Donkey Kong or any Mario game, you've heard this music a thousand times.  I doubt I'd get up off the couch to step on the white thing.

I also glimpsed at the jogging game with its atrocious graphics, but I couldn't watch it for long.  According to Beth, it takes your heartbeat, but so does a cheap heart monitor.  Another mom commented "I hate annoying guy waving at you" [when you jog]

I still didn't like the hula hoop.  I never could hula as a kid and the
game mechanics proved even more awkward than doing it with a real hoop.

Proper body balance improves health and longevity and I used to literally lose my balance and fall down.  I now have a service dog who helps me with balance. 

I got home and talked it over with my husband.  He said the Wii Fi will be about $90.  That's cheaper than a physical therapy appointment or a course at the chiropractor.  If the Wii Fit does improve my balance, it will be worth it. 

In terms of cardiovascular exercise, the Wii Fit pales in comparison to the shiny metal of standard gym equipment, but then so many Americans need to just move every day.  Maybe moving on a white plastic thing as part of a game will help.

No comments: