Navy may be calling on Wii Fit to train recruits

The U.S. Navy might enlist video games to help its newest recruits get in shape for the grueling boot camp they will go through. Mario would be proud.

Wii Fit
The Navy is considering using games like the Wii Fit to help recruits get in shape. Gamespot

The United States Navy is well-known for its grueling boot camp. But it may be adding a new element to it that might surprise you: video games. The Navy Times first reported the news Wednesday.

According to Navy Surgeon General Vice Admiral Adam Robinson, he wants to use games like Wii Fit and Dance Dance Revolution to increase the effectiveness of boot camp and prepare recruits for the rigors of getting through the ordeal. He plans to use games to increase recruit "endurance" in the early stages of boot camp, the Navy Times reported.

"There are lots of programs now that people can [use to] become very physically active while they're using interactive computer games," Robinson said. "So, in other words, this isn't about [starting] with computers and stopping [everything else]--because we're not going to do that. This is about incorporating those types of activities into something that people can use to become more physically active."

Robinson's intentions are based on what the Navy believes is an increasingly troubling issue. According to the Navy Times, fewer recruits are coming to boot camp with the requisite physical ability to get through the training. The branch of service has also found that more recruits are getting injured as they attempt to get through boot camp. Video games, Robinson believes, could address those issues.

A study conducted last year by the American Council On Exercise found that Wii Fit provides a "very, very mild workout."

Robinson admitted to the Navy Times that he "wasn't personally familiar with games on the market today, or how they might be modified for the Navy's purposes." With the plan still in the early stages, there is no timeline for when games might be incorporated in training.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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