Who says huge global companies don't have a sense of humor? In the same week that Nintendo releases the highly anticipated Wii Fit, they tip the scales in the other direction with the promotion of Major League Eating: The Game. As an officially licensed title by the top league (hopefully the only league) in speed eating, well-recognized stars such as Joey Chestnut or Takeru Kobayashi will be playable characters. The WiiWare title is touted as a fighting game that "requires players to master a smorgasbord of offensive and defensive weapons including bites, burps, belches, mustard gas, and jalapeno flames while cramming and chewing food at a world-class pace." How convenient that the Wii Fit looks like a scale, because you're going to need it.
However, Nintendo is not stopping at the physical activity of the Wii Fit or the digital gluttony of MLE: The Game to help shape our health and eating habits.
Nintendo just announced that they will be releasing Cooking Guide: Can't Decide What to Eat? throughout Europe in June. The coming title for the Nintendo DS promises to "literally talk budding chefs step-by-step through all the processes involved in cooking a tasty dish." Featuring interaction through the DS's microphone, aspiring chefs will be able to talk with the Cooking Guide chef to work their way through any of the 250 included recipes. And then actually eat them in the real world.
With at least two of these new releases, Nintendo has moved well beyond the so-called casual gamer market. (It's anyone's guess who the eating game is for.) With the instant popularity of the Wii Fit and the coming foray into the kitchen, it is apparent that Nintendo is well positioned to break away from any gamer market and integrate their products into our daily lives.