The set-up: I was not satisfied with the E3 demo Nintendo prepared for the press to demonstrate "Wii Fit." It appeared to hide a damaging flaw.
The mini-games Nintendo showed for the exercise program mainly involved standing on the board and doing activities that seemed to require a bit of the honors system. How would the board know, for example, that a "Fit" player was moving his or her arms in the proper aerobic swings demonstrated on screen? One of the primary habits of the gamer is to find shortcuts: skip the instruction manual; use the same guaranteed-touchdown plays in "Madden," not really read out loud in the reading-out-loud part of "Brain Age," run "Sim City" overnight to build up tax revenue, etc. So I started to wonder how short-cut-proof "Wii Fit" is.
Could someone buy "Wii Fit" with all the best intentions but be seduced into using easier methods to cheat the system? I asked my E3 Nintendo rep if I could conduct an experiment:
When I told N'Gai Croal at Newsweek about my experiment, he said it's proof that Nintendo could make a good luge game. He had some other comments too, but, really, make your own jokes.