Fitness can be expensive. Certainly, good, old-fashioned exercise can be had with a pair of running shoes and a brisk walk - but, for a growing number of consumers, there is the gym, the health club or the local fitness center. These shining palaces of physical health boast rows of exercise equipment, racks of weights, swimming pools and buff personal trainers - all the tools of the trade, and sometimes at a hefty monthly cost.
When EA Sports introduced "Active" for the Nintendo Wii, it had a strong competitor in the much-hyped "Wii Fit" for the popular game console. The beauty of "Active," however, lay in the fact that no extra accessories were needed; the game was touted as a virtual personal trainer in a box.
The "Active" box comes with a resistance band and a special leg strap, which allows the user to perform some of the necessary moves on the game. A virtual "trainer" guides you through a series of exercises for the upper and lower body, as well as cardiovascular activities. A multitude of pre-set workouts are available, but users can also customize their own routines.
The beauty of "Active" is the gym-like amenities it affords the player - step-by-step instructions, encouragement and praise. "Trophies" are awarded for every milestone made, from the amount of calories burned to each new exercise a user completes. An "Active" player can journal his or her accomplishments and food intake for the day, resulting in trainer feedback each time they play the game.
With the new revolution in interactive video games, Wii "Active" is yet another example of gamer fun - without the couch potato, thumb-workout of earlier days.