Fitness isn’t a game. Unlike the other important things we’ve tried to turn into games, or tried to force games into, it truly doesn’t work properly when you’re playing around with it. Fitness games for video game consoles puzzle me. People won’t go out and exercise properly. They offer dozens of reasons they either don’t bother with exercise or don’t exercise enough. All of it usually boils down to them not wanting to be involved in the flow of competition all around them. Gyms are full of the superficial elements of exercise-all of the machines are catered to aesthetic effects, all of the patrons are there with aesthetics on their minds, and they’re constantly offered mirrors to judge themselves and each other. The parks and roads are filled with dedicated runners and bikers who are only interested in doing better, and a person trying to look better can’t survive around a person trying to do better and be better. So game console makers have brought fitness and that competition into the home.
Not that I’m fully against it, but I think that we’re setting a poor precedent for future generations. The definitions we have for fitness and exercise are blurred, and we are scared of these things in their purest forms. Video game companies are simply capitalizing on the understood needs of the people: If you’re afraid of exercising in front of people, we will keep you home. Uncomfortable about your looks? Clothes? Wear what you want. The entire time, the consumer is thinking, “well, the worst thing that could happen is that I can’t do it, I can just pack it back up. The kids will get games for it.” This is how it’s no better than the BeachBody infomercial tapes you bought. The exercises work, but nothing you buy will give you the dedication to do these things fully, and if you could, then why the hell are you not out getting them on your own?
If we allow this to be the era when we brought “fitness” to the living room for good, then it will travel to the sofa, then the bed, then we will be taking fitness pills. We all thought years ago that we’d be eating astronaut food in 2010 but we’re repulsed by food that isn’t unhealthy and comes in enormous portions. We do eat artificial food, even though others in the rest of the world are going hungry. I don’t know what people thought would happen to our bodies by now, but Americans are obese, and the ones who don’t want to be are clinging to artificial exercise as a solution. The very thought of embarking on “free” exercise is frightening to people, and the more money they spend for artificiality, the more they convince themselves that they’re doing a positive thing. In my opinion, when people told me as a child that the best things in life were free, they weren’t lying. Free things that we learn to value require both a mental and physical connection. This is something that most of us can’t create with too many things in our lives. Nothing you buy at Best Buy can create that for you, but I can create it for myself.