Video games get a bad rap as a sedentary, unhealthy pursuit. It’s one of the reasons the medium fights for respectability and probably one of the reasons the President calls out video games as often as he does.
Whatever you may think about the Wii, Nintendo has changed the way people think about what it means to play a video game. The shift started with getting people off the couch with Wii Sports and grew into a full-blown workout option with Wii Fit. All that moving around is being recognized for its health benefits. Today, Nintendo of America and the American Heart Association announced a partnership dedicated to promoting active play video games. Dr. Clyde Yancy, the president of the AHA, said that the partnership recognizes that busy American need “new and innovative ways to get active” and called teaming up with Nintendo “bold, different and beyond our typical approaches. We’re going to meet people where they are. We’re going to get into the game.”
The two organizations have launched Active Play Now, a website that details how games like Wii Sports Resort can be part of a healthy lifestyle. The new synergy between NOA and the AHA also means that Wii and Wii Fit packaging will bear the familiar American Heart Association logo, which is a likely first for a video game console. Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America’s EVP of Sales and Marketing, also said that both organizations will also be powering an Active Play Summit. The multi-disciplinary conference will gather luminaries from science, the health professions and video games discussing ways to that active play titles can help individuals and families get the recommended daily amount of moderate to intense physical activity. For all the billions that a Halo or a Call of Duty may make in a financial quarter. Microsoft or Activision can’t say that their games are prolonging their players’ lives. Now, Nintendo can.
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