Using the Wii to Learn to Ski

29 08 2009

I have a Wii Fit program to motivate me to exercise when the weather’s not conducive to outdoor activity.  And yes, I do some of the muscle strengthening, yoga, and aerobic exercises.  But the activities I really enjoy are three of the balance games:

  • Balance Bubble: Shift your weight to guide your character down the river.  Avoid the river banks and the circulating bumble bees.
  • Table Tilt: Change your center of balance to roll balls on a simulated table top, dropping them all through holes in the table.
  • Ski Slalom: Lean forward to accelerate, left and right to maneuver through pairs of flags.

I don’t want to suggest that I am addicted to these particular “video games with a physical component.”  But it would be safe to say that I’ve done them many times.

My husband, on the other hand, tunes in once in a great while, skis down the hill a few times, and that’s that for several more weeks.

wii-fit-skiWhat vexes me is that in those few downhill trips, he manages not only to break into the top ten scores list maintained by the computer, he walks away with  TOP BILLING!  I’m exasperated that it’s so easy for him.  On the other hand, just seeing that top score displayed there with his baseball-cap-wearing face on it inspires me to ratchet up my game.  Whereas before my times had stagnated and I could improve no more, suddenly I find myself thrilled to pick up speed and then beat his first place score!  And then, slowly but steadily, he drops down the leader board–second, third, fourth…By the time he’s seventh or eighth I’ve pretty much mastered my newer, faster technique and in short order I eliminate him from the list altogether.  And then I find myself stalled again…until he waltzes in and ups the ante.

This cycle has gone through several iterations, but neither of us could reach the Final Frontier: a FOUR STAR RATING awarded by the computer.  But yesterday, all by myself, with no motivation from him, I broke the 50 second mark and got FOUR STARS!  Take that, big boy!  (I better not say too much.  Next time he gets on he’ll probably beat 45 seconds.  Aargh!)

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