And the new Wii Fit girl is…
Posted by Sue
Wii Fit Plus, sequel to the video game that pretty much changed the direction of the industry, is now out. Early reviews are promising; IGN gives it an 8.2 or “impressive” rating. Their print review is thorough enough, but their video review is also worth waiting to load. I tried the original Wii Fit and wasn’t really impressed enough to shell out 90 bucks for the game and balance board, but hearing about the Plus enhancements – such as ability to string together minigames for a real “workout” – has made me put this one on my wish list. I just wish it had online play; imagine competing with all the millions of other users. Accountability can be key in keeping an exercise device from becoming a clothes hanger, or in this case an ironing board.
YouTube watchers, especially males, may remember the “Wii Fit Girl” who appeared in a viral video shot by her boyfriend from behind as she gyrated on a balance board in her undies. The “girl” parlayed her fifteen minutes into becoming an exergaming poster girl for…EA Sports Active. Oh, the betrayal. So for Wii Fit Plus, Nintendo is going with a genuine, nationally recognized Fitness Guru, as seen on Oprah and Today. Who else but – Tracy Anderson!
Tracy is the “trainer to the stars”, Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow to be exact, and besides having a shady past, she makes Jillian Michaels look almost like an exercise scientist. She believes women should never lift more than 3 pounds (better get your maid or man to move the balance board for you), says running makes your butt huge, and talks about making bodies “teeny-tiny” by pulling in accessory muscles or something that doesn’t appear on any anatomy chart. Sadly, this Stone-Age-meets-fantasyland fitness talk is a mass-media magnet, and Tracy just won’t go away. Last week, Nintendo set up a media event in Beverly Hills starring a few celebs, their dogs, and Tracy:
Nintendo invited the media and celebrities including Rachael Leigh Cook, Nick Cannon and Brooke Burke — and their pooches — to preview the game Tuesday at the “Wii Fit Plus” Fitness Club, a Beverly Hills space transformed for one day into a posh health club, led by trainer Tracy Anderson, whose celebrity clientele includes Madonna.
“I will definitely prescribe it to people who are at a level where they lack a mind-body connection or they lack motivation or also people like Gwyneth Paltrow, who I train all the time,” Anderson said. “Sometimes we’re in trailers on movie sets, and we don’t have a lot of room, but it doesn’t take much room to set up `Wii Fit Plus’ and customize a program.”
With Jillian, Daisy, Jenny McCarthy and now Tracy and Gwyneth, I’m not sure I like the direction that Wii fitness is headed. The balance board has a lot of potential as a fitness tool – I’ve heard of trainers looking for imbalances while clients do bodyweight squats on it – so let’s not be so swift to drop it into the category of “get a dancer body!” gadgets. (To Tracy’s credit, she doesn’t make any ridiculous claims in her statement on Wii Fit Plus. Maybe exergaming is making her smarter already.)