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The Right Tempo A blog by Felipe M. G. Ceotto

I just can't believe that Nintendo did this mistake. It's just unbelievable that such a great company, in days like today with all these discussions about how games affect our lives and how they should be regulated, especially with children, did not take into consideration the possibility of a child getting a wrong BMI evaluation from its Wii Fit. But as unbelievable as it sounds, that is exactly what happened, like reported by BBC in its "Parents' anger at keep fit game" article: a kid got a wrong BMI evaluation by Wii Fit, saying that she was over weight and needed to loose 4 pounds.

Nintendo should know better. Wii Fit got rated by PEGI as 3+ (except for Portugal, where it is 4+), so basically anybody that can talk can play it, so this should have been taken into consideration within the game, either adjusting the BMI calculations to fit kids, or at least by telling the players under a certain age that the results might not be accurate for them, or that they should talk to their parents before doing anything. And that game in particular can tell the player's age because it asks for it! So the statement of the company saying that "the resulting figures may not be entirely accurate for younger age groups due to varying levels of development" should be in the game! Making this comment afterwards makes them look even worse because then they know about it but didn't make the game react accordingly.

Although I do think that this mother is right with her complaint and that Nintendo did make a mistake, this will give ammunition to people that want to censor games and give them ratings that are not appropriate. I've written two articles already about all this "game rating" discussion and I'm sure I'll write many more because it doesn't look like this will get sorted out soon, if ever, but I just wish it would and Nintendo might has just made it harder.

Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2008 4:00 PM Games | Back to top


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