Nintendo's Health Games: Fit for Purpose?

Marius Goubert explores the negative effects of the recent health game onslaught.

There's just no escape from the relentless onslaught of the modern media which, in a campaign of psychological torture, is constantly finding new ways to convince us of what inadequate, flawed and pathetic individuals we really are.

Because, if it's not billboards bombarding us with images of unattainable levels of perfection, with models totally warped by Photoshop, then it's the government throwing out daily statistics on obesity, heart disease and cancer. Indeed, nowadays, simply smoking a cigarette in public is liable to have you branded a murderer and chased through the streets by an angry mob wielding pitchforks and burning torches.

But in the midst of this obsession about body image, size zero, teenage obesity, exercise, cancer, type-2 diabetes, fast food etc., you would have thought that video games would provide some welcome relief. After all, there's nothing quite like losing yourself in a frenzy of virtual murder on something like GTA; distracting you from all your insecurities and hang-ups.

However, perhaps unsurprisingly, video game developers are now beginning to exploit this deeply depressing social trend and it is Nintendo who has really capitalised on it.

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