Tennis Elbow? Wii Knee?

 Last month, some poor guy knocked out his girlfriend while attempting to slay a boss in Nintendo’s new “Zelda” Wii game. A fellow in Britain just broke his ankle while trying to do a follow-through swing in Wii Baseball. All across the world (and even right in the lab), people are getting what would normally be considered sports injuries from a video game system, and it’s pretty amazing. A video game console is actually forcing people to get up and move around. Certainly, Nintendo created similar types of accessories for their original NES back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and Dance Dance Revolution eventually got itself accepted as an alternative to physical education in some school districts, but the trend moving away from passively sitting and staring at a screen really took some leaps and bounds with the Wii’s unique control system. It’s not the only one out there (both the PS3 and the Xbox 360 have motion sensitive controllers), but it is still pretty revolutionary and the implications for advertisers are numerous.

Burger King recently released three games for the Xbox 360 that were offered for $4.95 with the purchase of certain items at the restaurant, and that had an amazing amount of success (Also, remember to consider the importance of offering free branded games for less than a tenth of the cost of a regular Xbox 360 game). But now, couple that with an amazingly interactive control system. Imagine, say, a tooth-paste manufacturer creating an interactive game where you actually brush teeth?

Let’s take this a step further. A company named 3D Innovations is showcasing a virtual world editor similar to Second Life that can create worlds which are navigatable by using interactive exercise equipment, kind of an update to the old video game-style rowing machines I remember from the late ‘80s. Fitness shoe companies could offer potential customers the chance to actually go running along a beach on an interactive treadmill. Or, for that matter, offer branded running courses to people.