The Daily Mail is condemning video games again--and this time it's Nintendo that bears the brunt of its vocal indignation. Although the Wii and DS have been generally insulated from the usual haranguing of traditional video games in such sections of the British press because of their popularity among the elderly, women, and on cruises, family friendly Wii Fit has managed to incur the wrath of the tabloid.
The reason is that an unnamed 10-year-old girl from South East England was told by the game, during its Body Mass Index test, that she was "fat." (Wii Fit actually puts users into a variety of categories, the two heaviest of which are "overweight" and "obese.")
The stepfather of the girl, who didn't want to be named for her sake, said, "She is a perfectly healthy, 4-feet-9-inch-tall 10-year-old who swims, dances, and weighs only six stone. She is solidly built but not fat. She was devastated to be called fat and we had to work hard to convince her she isn't."
The paper then enlisted the opinion of Tam Fry, a spokesperson for the National Obesity Forum, who called for a ban on kids playing the game, presumably meaning she wanted to see it brandishing an 18 age gate sticker. She said, "I am absolutely aghast that children are being told they are fat. A child's BMI can change every month and it is perfectly possible for a child to be stocky, yet still very fit. I would be very concerned if children were using this game and I believe it should carry a warning for parents."
However, Nintendo declined to entertain her suggestion, simply saying, "Wii Fit is still capable of measuring the BMI for people aged between two and 20 but the resulting figures may not be entirely accurate for younger age groups due to varying levels of development."