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From Left Field: Wii will rock you

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By The Staff

Wii will rock you

I bought my girlfriend Cindy a Nintendo Wii for Christmas along with the Wii Fit add-on package. Shhh, don't tell her, it's a surprise! She really wanted to get these, so I figured it would be a great excuse to buy a video game system. Afterall, I can justify it by saying it's meant to get us in better shape.

I have never been one to stay up-to-date on video games. The last system I owned was the Super Nintendo. Of course, I'm old enough to remember having the original Pong video game in the 1970s and then moved up to the Atari 2600, then to the original Nintendo 8-bit system before getting the SNES.

What fascinates me about the Wii is the amount of physical activity one can get from playing it. The Wii Sports game includes bowling, tennis, golf, baseball and boxing. To play bowling, the player stands up and uses the controller like they would a real bowling ball. You can approach the television set like you would the lane and swing the controller like you would the ball.

In the tennis game, you hold the controller like the handle of a tennis racket, positioning yourself for backhands and forehands. Gone are the days of sitting on your couch playing video games while eating cheese puffs until your controller is clogged with orange cheese residue.

Now with the Wii Fit package, we can take our commitment to fitness even further by doing real exercises. There are four categories to Wii Fit: yoga, strength training, aerobics, and balance games.

The balance board can be used to calculate your body mass index by measuring your weight and entering your height. It can also be used for yoga positions, push-ups and who knows what else!

While playing video games will never take the place of getting outside and doing real physical activity, this is at least a step in the right direction.

We've come a long way from when the controller was a simple joystick with one button. It's a miracle a generation of Atari-playing kids didn't develop Popeye thumb!

I hate to sound like a commercial, but I'm really excited about the Nintendo Wii. I'm just happy that video games have evolved to the point of helping players get in shape and stay healthy instead of breeding generation after generation of sedentary couch potatoes.

Cindy and I would like to wish everybody a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful, healthy holiday season!