Is self-described fitness guru Michael Torchia, who has announced plans to file a class action lawsuit against Nintendo over the alleged dangers of the Wii Fit, on a mission to protect fat people from injury? Or is he just trying to extort a few bucks from a competitor?
Torchia feels Nintendo is misrepresenting their Wii games as a replacement for sensible exercise and sports activities. He believes that Nintendo needs to issue a warning that these games are intended for entertainment and not to replace actual physical activity. Through slick advertising campaigns and product placements on popular television shows, children and adults are being brainwashed that Wii games are safe and effective ways to become physically fit.
"On the contrary, Nintendo is contributing to the epidemic of obesity. Young and old are putting away their gym clothes and shying away from going outdoors to play sports, because the addictive appeal to the Wii game products. Just as the tobacco companies created such a false image of their products and hid the potential dangers, so is Nintendo," says Torchia.
Torchia feels not only that the Wii Fit's alleged health-dispensing qualities are overrated, but that the Wii itself is a positive menace, citing an unsourced statistic that "up to ten people a week" are hospitalized due to inappropriate Wii exertions. And he's retained counsel to sue Nintendo, on behalf of all who have suffered damages, or perhaps just failed to lose weight, due to its nefarious marketing.
But leaving aside Torchia's hysterical comparison of Nintendo to R. J. Reynolds, and the economic losses he may have sustained as a result of Wii Fit's astonishing popularity, would removing the Wii from shelves in fact make overweight Americans safer, or is this just another Vitamin Water suit? Has anyone actually been deceived? And does Torchia honestly believe that people who would use a videogame for exercise will turn to personal fitness trainers and jogging, if only the WiiMote is removed from their chubby fingers?
Or will they just play Xbox instead?