I'm not much of a "gamer". (In fact, I'm not even entirely sure that's the preferred nomenclature to describe one skilled at Halo and aroused by watching Grand Theft Auto.) The only video game system I've ever owned is the original Nintendo which still sits proudly attached to my television with a quarter holding RBI Baseball in place (undefeated through much of college). But, I do cover sports and its broadly defined intersection with technology, so when Nintendo began advertising Wii Fit, I felt obliged to turn off Tecmo Bowl and see just what the past twenty years has done to 64-bit technology and what it meant to the world of fitness.
There have been 786 reviews of the Wii and Wii Fit by men and women far more qualified than myself to compare its gaming merits to Dance Dance Revolution (never played), Guitar Hero (dabbled once in Best Buy) and the best of PS2 (never touched it). PopSci's own gaming guru gave an excellent review of the system. But Wii Fit, and to a degree the Wii, isn't only intended for Donkey Kong prodigies.
A picture of a 40-something woman and a 70-something man are plastered on the box for Wii Fit–this is not your child's Nintendo. While a few decades younger than the aforementioned, my gaming acumen makes me uniquely qualified to review this, and only this, system.
To supplement review #787 I recruited Mike Behnken, MS, CSCS a certified trainer and founder of askthetrainer.com, to step through the exercises with two goals in mind: 1. Let an expert tell me where this thing should fit in an overall fitness routine 2. Find out how accurate the board is at quantifying 'fitness'. For the latter we figured a competition between a man paid handsomely to stay in shape and a man paid marginally to sit idly on a couch should suffice. If the board can't determine who's in better shape then we have a problem. Exercises are split into four different groups: Yoga, Strength Training, Aerobics and Balance Games. Certain exercises are unlocked based on time spent, so we sampled only from those available on your first day. On the next page is documentation of the battle complete with comments from Behnken about goal number one. We even compiled a list of things we'd like to see changed and methods to supplement the Wii for those determined to avoid natural sunlight.