November 25, 2012

Extra Credit For Playing Wii?

You have got to be kidding me.

I did a blog just last week on the strange and unusual rewards for academic achievements that you can read here, and in this blog I made a very clear and concise definition of the problems facing students and teachers alike in the quest for academic achievement and to keep a job.

Back then it was just a calling out of a school’s methods with rewarding students with free Dairy Queen coupons-now we’re being offered to play video games.

That. Is. Awesome!!!

Reading from the main article here, you will find that the University of Houston, Texas is offering physical education credit to students who follow physical activity games on the critically acclaimed motion control giant. I can already see the disappointed frowns arcing across thousands of adults faces as I type this blog-but if you will let me, allow a different perspective on this strange take on motion gaming and academic rewards.

Let’s be honest-The Wii has gained a lot of its acclaim and sales profits from family homes that prefer to play Wii Sports and other motion controlled games. And unlike the latest reiterations of Call of Duty or Halo 4,  they actually require you to get off your hind end and get into the game. When Wii was first released at its E3 press conference it was clear to us all that rather than be a video game phenomenon that Nintendo had been geniuses about with the Gamecube, this one was going to introduce physical fitness as its main selling point.

I’m more than certain that this is why none of my friends ever got it.

I don’t mean to beat down on Nintendo’s technological advancement, but come on. Physical fitness in video games? It’s not that the innovation isn’t genius, its just not well liked with people who prefer the traditional controller in hand/couch combination thats been working for everyone for well over thirty years.

Don’t fix what isn’t already perfect.

But apart from the hardcore gamers idea of a gaming platform with the Wii, even Nintendo understood that they wouldn’t be able to sell the Nintendo at as high a rate as the Xbox and PS3 through graphical and and video game prowess alone-its that sane foresight that granted the Wii its accolade as one of the greatest fitness machines in the 21st century!!!

It was always small, quick, and incredibly fun to pick up a Wii mote and start swinging your arms in downwards arcing motions to score a next hole in one. Always energizing to leap across the room with your arm at the very edge of the couch to reach that tennis ball about to hit the out of bounds zone. This is the reason Wii has been so successful not just financially as video game console, but as a social tool for families and now universities to recognize as a formidable fitness workout station.

My hats off to you Nintendo, your finally getting the invisible recognition you deserve.

Image Credit: Matt Cheveralls / Shutterstock

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