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Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
23 May

Fuming Fuji Returns!

Fuming FujiAs many of you know, the Fuming Fuji was MDA founding editor Sara Ost’s fiery alter ego. Though Sara has moved on to other projects, the spirit of the Fuji fights on here at MDA.

The Fuming Fuji has decided to rear his seething head and once again grace you all with his presence and supreme wisdom. The Fuji rather enjoyed his self-selected hiatus, choosing to fume in the comfort of unspecified locations. (He likes to come and go as he pleases, you understand.) But as of late there are simply too many things that infuriate the Fuji beyond all reason and hope of sanity. They must be shared regardless of the cost to Fuji’s convenience. This fact only makes the Fuji more incensed.

This week the Fuming Fuji has chosen to have a serious problem with Wii Sports and other such “exercise” video games.

But, Fuji, don’t these games encourage young people to be active?

The Fuming Fuji says no!

The claim: Your Fuji-ness, you don’t mean to criticize these games. After all, it’s a way to get kids up and moving. It appeals to the current generation of kids. And, hey, if it gets a child up off the couch and playing virtual tennis, bending here, stretching there, swinging there, doesn’t that mean something?

The catch: A swing of the arm, you argue? Surely such exertion will earn this child a Presidential Physical Fitness Award. Your feeble perspective is of no consequence. These children should be exercising their bodies in the context of the natural environment or in a setting that nurtures social and creative development. These games offer no such support for seedlings’ personal health or growth.

The comeback: Oh, Fuji, come on now. What about Dance Dance Revolution? That one can really get you going! Anyway, can’t it just be a good time? Haven’t you ever been to a party where they break out the Wii and everyone tries their hand at it while people in the background laugh and cheer them on or scream to make the other team member miss? Whoa, I remember this time at –

The conclusion: Silence! These tedious recollections of pitiable social endeavors bore me. Fuji has no time for such tomfoolery. We are speaking of young seedlings. These companies seek to ruthlessly co-opt children’s impulse toward active play and manipulate this instinct into increased sales at the continuing cost of children’s health and well-being. Their products have entranced this generation and led them to sedentary, sickly existences. These companies will not stop until every seedling is incapable of socializing without the assistance of technological devices and is victim to obesity, insulin resistance, and, and (steam rising from Fuji’s head) rickets! Fuji’s getting’ upset!

The catchphrase: Do not be taken in by these insidious mind traps that seek to confuse children’s natures and sabotage any inclination toward truly active play.

Disclaimer: Mark Sisson and the Worker Bees do not necessarily endorse the views of the Fuming Fuji.

Further Reading:

Fuming Fuji Archives

Raise Healthy Seedlings

Sisson Said What?

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You want comments? We got comments:

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  1. All of a sudden there have been lots of newspaper/media articles on Wii “exercise” for kids and seniors. Yeah, I’m skeptical of the Wii stuff, too, even if it “might be” technically classified as exercise. Kids need to get outdoors and into nature, not stuck indoors in front of a screen. Same for seniors.

    We’re sliding towards Soylent Green, folks. And they’re making us love it at the same time.

    Anna wrote on May 23rd, 2008
    • Have you played a boxing match on the Wii? It’s more of a workout than most kids are getting. That’s a step in the right direction. If you moved the TV outside, you could get sunlight and fresh air. Or if you turn the A/C off and opened some windows, you could get some real air inside! A question to ask yourself: How many hours a day might Grok have spent in a cave? Why not have a virtual boxing match or lightsaber battle (which you can’t have for real inside or outside) while you’re in the cave? As long as you get your 5+ hrs/wk of walking and outdoor play, the Wii is fine and not made of people!

      Michael B wrote on June 13th, 2012
  2. Despite the fact that the Wii itself tells you to go outside and play?

    Roger wrote on May 23rd, 2008
  3. I contend that Fuming Fuji is incorrect in the assertion that the Wii, or any other videogame system for that matter, is a replacement for social activity and a prelude to rickets!

    Could the same claim be made for watching a movie or reading a book?

    Videogames are a growing segment of interactive entertainment. I would suggest that the videogame may compete with the TV viewing habits of the youth, adults, and seniors; but in no way do videogames actually impact socialization.

    As a parent, be the parent and limit the amount of time the consoles can be utilized. The consoles even have features that limit play time.

    Furthermore, with the release of Wii Fit, I would recommend that Fuji try the Wii out for himself and then provide an update.

    Lastly, as for advertising to the young, the videogame advertisements are far healthier than the junk food peddled to the sedentary masses.

    Oxybeles wrote on May 23rd, 2008
  4. These are must read comments on the impressions by the general consumer on recently released Wii Fit.

    Oxybeles wrote on May 23rd, 2008
  5. I love to workout and the Wii boxing really makes my arms sore! :)
    I think the Wii is meant to encourage kids to get up and play as a supplement to a what is already (hopefully) an active lifestyle. I hope that when I have children someday that we can all gather around the Wii after a fun day at the park or watching them do one of their many athletic activities! :)
    After all, a parent that can afford a Wii can surely afford to enroll their child in some type of lessons or team sport…right?

    Cortney wrote on May 23rd, 2008
  6. Wait till the Wii Rehab clinics open for all the PT needed for injuries….as I almost threw out my shoulder trying to pitch playing Wii baseball last week with my nephew….who knows how many back injuries there will be from the golf game and trying to drive it 400 yards!

    Then again….I did have “Atari” thumb from too much asteroids….but I still managed to get bored and go outside and play.

    Mike OD - IF Life wrote on May 23rd, 2008
  7. I almost had a breakdown last christmas. Six months before christmas I sort of promised my 11 year old that he could have a wii. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to find one. Luckily, 3 days before christmas there it was at best buy. Almost had a heart attack when I saw the price though.

    I don’t like to spend time playing games but I have a gammer family, what can I say. It’s much better than most of the trash on tv.

    Crystal wrote on May 23rd, 2008
  8. Despite the fact that the Wii itself tells you to go outside and play?

    Just like the tobacco companies give you advice on how to quit smoking and how to talk to your kids about smoking.

    I would suggest that the videogame may compete with the TV viewing habits of the youth, adults, and seniors; but in no way do videogames actually impact socialization.

    Kids are already spending less time outdoors in unstructured play compared to twenty or thirty years ago owing to safety concerns and the invention of so many new electronic distractors besides the TV. I agree that Wii will compete with other electronic toys, not free play.

    Sonagi wrote on May 25th, 2008
  9. “Just like the tobacco companies give you advice on how to quit smoking and how to talk to your kids about smoking.”

    You’re comparing apples to Guatemala. They are not even close to the same thing.

    Of course its not a substitute for activity, but compared to the vegging out that is normally associated with video games? Its leaps and bounds better.

    Roger wrote on May 26th, 2008
  10. You’re comparing apples to Guatemala. They are not even close to the same thing.

    Perhaps you have misunderstood the comparison. I was not comparing the effects of smoking to using Wii. Rather, I was noting that both are simply engaging in PR with their advice.

    Sonagi wrote on May 26th, 2008
  11. I’m so glad the FF is back!

    I recuse myself from commenting on this post, since roughly half my family’s income – the part not earned by me – is brought in by a video game programmer.

    Oh, OK, you twisted my arm. I’d rather see a kid playing a game that requires physical movement of large muscle groups than one that uses nothing but thumbs. I don’t think the Wii competes with playing outside. I think the Wii competes with other video games. That makes it, not an absolute good, but the lesser of two evils.

    Having said all that – and I hope the other income earner in the family doesn’t take this too harshly – I find something creepy about the Wii. Over the last 60 years, our culture has become increasingly focused on the nuclear family and the interior of the home. First television, then the VCR, then the Internet … increasingly we have fewer and fewer reasons to go out of the house. You don’t need to go out of the house to shop or be entertained – or even, like me, to do your job. We spend too much of our incomes on homes because we never leave them, we don’t save enough, and our economy is in a shambles precisely because of this debt. (An older friend of mine tells me that when she was a newlywed, she and her husband got by in a 400 sq. foot efficiency in Manhattan because they spent all their waking hours out of the apartment. If you spend all your time at home, then maybe you do need 2,000 sq. feet.) We don’t know our neighbors, so we have to arrange play dates for our kids. People don’t even sit on their front porches any more. And now, with Wii and Wii Fit, we don’t actually have to go out to play golf. Creeeeeeeeeeeepy.

    “Comparing apples to Guatemala …” I will have to remember that one.

    Migraineur wrote on May 26th, 2008

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