I am trying to change my habits. Really. Truly.
Part of this change is actually engaging in physical activity. As my doctors and I get the dosages of the pain meds into something that vaguely provides an acceptable balance between pain relief and intrusive side effects, I have been able to do more.
So, in addition to small things — taking the stairs up one flight or parking farther away from the front of the store — I have pulled out the Wii balance board from where it sat collecting dust under the entertainment center. Once again, I am confronted with the most annoying animated creature in existence.
The Wii Fit board character.
The Wii Fit board character is an animated rendering of the rectangular Wii balance board used to exercise. It greets you when you start the program and walks you through the weighing in process. When you switch between exercise categories, it is there in the background, running on a treadmill. You would think that Nintendo could have figured out something better for these purposes. Or at least more interesting.
Yes, I know what you’re going to say. It cannot be as annoying as the Microsoft Office paperclip. Oh, but it is. It nags.
It has a little chirpy voice — not that it says much. Most of its comments come in the form of condescending little onscreen captions. It will ask why you haven’t shown up in a few days — or ask about other members of the family who haven’t shown up in months — or remind you that their birthday is coming up and telling you that you need to buy them presents or throw them a party. If you gain weight, it will ask if you know the reason — and “How the &*%$ should I know?” is not an option.
When you are training, it shows up in the background running on a treadmill. When you decide to use your preplanned fitness routine, if you don’t finish it will question why you stopped too soon.
It’s just creepy.
I am not sure why this bothers me so much: it’s not like this thing even remotely approaches the uncanny valley, unlike the animated human trainers who walk you through yoga and strength exercises. (Although to be honest they don’t remotely approach the uncanny valley either, being about as realistic as circa 1992 Pixar renderings of humans. Think “Andy” in Toy Story.) It does not look or sound even vaguely human.
Excepts it reads human. As someone who has a large amount of her social life revolve around people’s typed words rather than those they speak, I have become very accustomed to thinking of sentient, responsive comments as being from an actual person, even when whatever it is would fail any remotely rigorous Turing Test. I find myself talking to it — which makes me simply annoyed at myself.
It’s enough to discourage me from using the program, but then… how would I ever top my “666” ranking in Advanced Step? Sigh. Maybe I should give up and just do something more natural to begin with, like walking.
At least my shoes won’t nag me, then.