12th Entertainment Division Excellence Award
Video game [Japan]
Representing the Wii Fit development team
Having already achieved dominance of the market with its intuitive physical game interface, a stick shaped remote control, Wii’s next proposal has been to use a board. This has allowed it to turn physical fitness tests and training into a game. In this way, Wii Fit engages not only the fingers and eyes of the player, but their whole body. It has also broadened the appeal of a device that tends to be thought of as a boy’s toy, turning it into a family communication tool; we can see in it a glimpse of the future of video games.
Reason for Award
One of the keywords in this year’s Entertainment Division was physicality, and the theme of Wii Fit is the human body itself. In the past, Nintendo achieved considerable success with their cultural and educational software for Nintendo DS, then similarly with their casual games like Wii Sports for Wii, and now it seems the same can be said of their health oriented software, Wii Fit. However, the principle reason for this award was not that it has made health a form of entertainment, but that it has propelled forward the approach taken by the Nintendo DS and Wii, which is to substantialize virtual media. It is a different approach from that taken by the next generation games where a user controls a visual avatar. Wii Fit shows us that there are many more possibilities for game entertainment. It is a requirement of innovative game design that the developers strive to approach it with a new point of view. It is a digression, but the history of game consoles would tell us that this kind of hardware gimmick cannot be successful, but Wii Fit has overthrown that assumption.