Thursday, December 23, 2010
Me and Wii (Part One)
I'm old enough to remember when television was supposed to be bad for us. I'm almost old enough to forget this as well, but let's not dwell on that sad state of affairs. Instead, I want to dwell on a different sad state of affairs. Now where was I?... oh yes, TV... Nowadays we don't have mere television, we have interactive video gaming, which is supposed to help us parkies with balance and fitness. It's TV that, darn it, is good for you! Ever eager to mix the unmixable, in this instance fun, and Parkinson's Disease, I obtained a Wii and a balance board. I then plugged in, turned on, and prepared to enjoy a rollicking workout.
The Wii had other plans. It began by asking me a series of questions about my height, age, and weight. Then it asked me to step up on the balance board while it did a little calculating. That done, it proceeded to tell me I am 22 pounds overweight and 65 years old in Wii Years! I'm 52.
You know you are living in modern times when your possessions can insult you.
A bit nonplussed, I let it slide and prepared to take a simple balance test. I don't mean to brag but I think that my balance is pretty good, considering my circumstances. I felt confident about my performance on the test. My machine begged to differ "I guess balance is not your forté" the machine informed me, dripping cyber sarcasm all over my misguided little sense of adequacy. I had to check the game box and make sure I didn't have a copy of "Wii Insult Comic" but it assured me that I had "Wii Fit".
Then the machine turned all fake-concerned and asked me if I wanted to lose weight, and if so, how much and how fast. This led to protracted negotiations and much refinement of my button-pushing skills. Great way to lose weight, button pushing. Finally we arrived at mutually agreeable goals. I was left to reflect that I never got along with coaches well, and in that sense, virtual reality was eerily similar to real reality. The main difference was that instead of being abused by a hairy man with a huge beer gut and a Precambrian sense of humor, I was being abused by a virtual icon of a piece of plastic electronic equipment with no beer gut and no sense of humor. It was then I remembered my forté, and, coordinating my deft right arm with my exquisitely nimble 65- year-old hand, I turned the little SOB off.