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Wii Therapy And Exercise

Discussion in 'Nintendo News & Rumors' started by James Temperton, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. James Temperton

    James Temperton WiiChat Feature Writer

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    [xFLOAT=left]http://www.wiichat.com/article-images/wii-therapy.jpg[/xFLOAT]The Wii is all about innovation and opening up gaming to a whole new audience. With the console now being used for exercise and therapy, has it gone beyond Nintendo’s wildest expectations?

    Simple answer to the question, yes. When Nintendo started bleating on about the Wii a couple of years ago they constantly talked about expanding the gaming horizon. They wanted to get new people playing videogames and to create a system with a hugely varied userbase. What they’ve got, is a cultural revolution. When something catches the imagination of the world like the Wii has it tends to get some fairly interesting press.

    The other day a story popped up about how the Wii is being used by the US Army as a means of healing the wounded. Never in Nintendo’s wildest dreams could Nintendo have expected this. Over the last few months we’ve seen it being used in old folks homes, as part of exercise regimes and even as a method of shedding the pounds to get into shape. All of these cases have demonstrated one thing: the Wii can move beyond the videogames industry and into wider culture. Once there, the world of ‘self help’ is its oyster. Fitness and gadgetry are two of the biggest obsessions in Western culture, and the Wii is able to tap into both. The media has an obsession with telling us how we can get fit and healthy and there are always new and ‘exciting’ ways of doing so popping up. The Wii is perhaps the biggest new entry on the scene.

    At the Sedgebrook retirement community in Lincolnshire (USA), where the average age is 77. A report in the Chicago Tribune details how the residents, most of whom have never picked up a video game controller in their life, are turning to the Wii for entertainment.

    [xFLOAT=left]http://www.wiichat.com/article-images/wiielderly.jpg[/xFLOAT]"I've never been into video games," said 72-year-old Flora Dierbach last week as her husband took a twirl with the Nintendo Wii's bowling game. "But this is addictive...They come in after dinner and play," she said. "Sometimes, on Saturday afternoons, their grandkids come play with them. A lot of grandparents are being taught by their grandkids. But, now, some grandparents are instead teaching their grandkids." Sunday afternoon at the home is now all about the Wii. This sort of thing is great publicity for the Wii.

    Over the years the industry has gotten some very bad press, but feel good stories about the Wii bringing together kids and grandkids and helping keep the eldery healthy and entertained is a glowing endorsement of what Nintendo are doing. It would seem that in one swift move, all the negative stigmas about gaming in the mainstream press have somewhat been ebbed away.

    In an article published on the online version of the US military newspaper Stars and Stripes, it has been revealed that in certain cases the Wii can prove to be a useful tool for healing the wounded. Army Spc. Shawn Roberts who is assigned to the 581st Signal Company in Kuwait, volunteered to use the game as part of his therapy routine. The Wii is being used to help him regain full movement after he broke his wrist and elbow and partially tore his rotator cuff when the vehicle he was in rolled over. He couldn’t move his wrist for more than a month because of the screws holding it together.

    “I wasn’t expecting much out of it,” said Roberts after using the game. “You know, it’s a video game. How much could it really do? But you don’t notice it while you’re doing it because your mind’s on the game. But then when you’re done? I was sore....I do all the same exercises, but with the Wii, your mind’s off of it, and you do it a lot more. It’s more fast paced and that kind of thing.”

    Staff Sgt. Bryan Vallerie, an occupational therapy technician, said the game wouldn’t replace anything in the department’s physical therapy repertoire but could enhance treatment for some patients. “It’s a healthy, fun alternative to doing these things,” he said. The department are going to analyse the results of using the Wii for therapy. The advantage of using the system, they claim, is that it gets rid of the monotonous tedium of physical therapy. With the Wii, you’re doing the exercise but at the same time you’re having fun.

    The most detailed analysis of the Wii’s impact on personal health came thanks to one man’s idea to use the Wii to get into shape. Entitled the ‘Wii Sports Experiment’, it aimed to prove that playing Wii was a viable method of exercise. Mickey DeLorenzo, a 25-year-old living in Philadelphia, decided to meld exercise and gaming together and form a full report on what he found. The blog he kept attracted a huge amount of interest from publications such as the New York Times, CNN, the BBC, TIME, The LA Times, The Sydney Morning Herald and also on TV through FOX and NBC. The media circus that surrounded one mildly plump man playing Wii to get a bit more toned was somewhat ridiculous. But it worked. Mr. DeLorenzo got into shape, lost 9lbs, his body fat percentage went down from 19% to 17.2% and his body mass index (BMI) went from 25.2 to 24.0. The full results of the experiment can be read through here:

    http://wiinintendo.net/2007/01/15/wii-sports-experiment-results/.

    So what does all this tell us? Well, whilst industry analysts go on about how the Wii is making a huge difference to the demographic of the gaming market and Nintendo drone on about how many units they are selling, perhaps this is the real story of the Wii. It is a cultural phenomenon, albeit a somewhat brief one so far, and it is really making a difference. Little by little the Wii is changing the world...sort of.
     
  2. adf3424sdff

    adf3424sdff Guest

    lmao at the pictures of the grannies and grandads!
    Didnt read it all but interesting read, will go through it properly later :)
    Lee
     
  3. compodude

    compodude keep it compo

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    and you get all this rubbish about the wii being a gimmick... i knew it would be great but i never asumed that it would be used heal wounded (i asume they are training people with trauma center or somthing like that)
     
  4. Warrior

    Warrior WiiChat Member

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    great article!
     
  5. ARav989

    ARav989 WiiChat Member

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    Great read and I'll be sure to tell my grandparents about this. They'd enjoy it.
     
  6. TortillaChip520

    TortillaChip520 One of the Oceanic 6

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    i dont think i'd know what to do if my grandpa EVER touched a video game. i think the world would explode.
     
  7. Shoko

    Shoko The Shoke

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    my mom's side of the family hates video games but when i went to kansas to visit them i brought my wii, and i couldnt get them off of it. we played bowlind and boxing all day, i mean all day. and then the next morning, i couldve swore my grandma's flabby arms got skinnier lol. this article is proof that the wii isnt a gimmick
     
  8. Jedilavers

    Jedilavers Jedilavers

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    Well Nintendo can't go wrong lets hope this will encourage more developers yet i hope people don't go mad for brain training and other exercise games as the market will then focus on them which will suck as noone will make real games.
     
  9. Brawny

    Brawny Anglophobiphile

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    LOL, another great, interesting read from Mr. Tempterton

    :thumbsup:

    Edit:mad:shoko...uh...

    you really can't say that it proves anything about the gimmick aspect of the wii......

    w/e
     
  10. dakuda

    dakuda WiiChat Member

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    If that is the same picture that ran with the Tribune article when it came out a few months ago, I would take it down. The Chicago Tribune really goes after people quoting to much of their articles and using their photos. A Chicago White Sox site I use got in a lot of trouble for that.
     
  11. Battles

    Battles Banned

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    This is a really great Article,
    we did this for my brother when he had his car werck and the wii made him get batter with all his skills that he lost. like he had s stroke and could not move his right arm good and we bought him the wii vause my dad thought that this might work to re-bulid him and it did after weeks of using the wii he had full use of his arm. and i thank the wii for that. it totally made his theary go way faster.
     
  12. Evolve82

    Evolve82 WiiChat Member

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    I invited my parents and my wifes parents over for dinner. Yhey could never understand how I could spend so much time on computer games..... UNTIL they spent nearly 5 hours on the Wii and had no idea what the time was!!

    Supprised is not the word!!

    Wii for ever!!
     
  13. Lil Miss Foxxxy

    Lil Miss Foxxxy Superstar

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    When I first bought my wii and brought it home to show my mom she had fun. And she never touched a game in her life! Then my sister got involved and we all had a great time! Now she wants one of her own XD. I think what the Wii is doing is reaching out to older gamers who just want to have fun! Never in their wildest dreams did Nintendo think that their console would not only be used for therapy but attract an older audience who has never picked up a game in their life!
     
  14. w11j7b

    w11j7b Will.

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    Miyamoto said in an interview that several developers had approached him after E3 to develop games using the balance board for Wii Fit. Hopefully some kick ass games (hardcore softcore whatever) will come out sometime in 2008.
     
  15. Link888

    Link888 Zelda Twilight Princess

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    Nice article , my grandparents would love to hear about it.
     
  16. Bigjake52

    Bigjake52 Wii fan Boy till the end

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    well that is the frst time i have seen old peopel play a game system
     
  17. afossil

    afossil A Mom

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    Whlie not as old as some in the article (I do qualify for AARP), I use my wii for exercise. I love boxing and baseball. I can't wait to get DDR this week. Total cardio workout, great to keep in shape without leaving the house.
     
  18. WiiHippie

    WiiHippie WiiChat Member

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    I myself have found the Wii to be a great exercise tool. And now that we're expecting a baby, I know it'll really help to keep me in shape, without having to pay tons in gym memberships, and outfits for the gym. The Wii makes me happy.
     
  19. Azim652

    Azim652 WiiChat Member

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    Nintendo Wii is now used to treat patients suffering from stroke, broken bones, surgery, and even combat injuries.

    Sincerely,
    SAIFUL AZIM

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Find out why patients are addicted to Nintendo Wii at http://www.wiiwantmore.com
    For pleasure reading, please use IE 6 and above.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     

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