The Role of Nintendo in the Coronavirus Shutdown
Nintendo’s ‘Ring Fit Adventure’ has become more important than anyone ever imagined
It’s been four months since Nintendo released ‘Ring Fit Adventure,’ and I’m willing to bet my yoga mat that every single game reviewer who played in October hasn’t touched it since November.
Ring Fit was a revolution when it first came out. People couldn’t believe a video game that had them running on the spot in their living room could have them sweating like they would at the gym.
It was as perfect for lazy slobs (like me) as it was for gym junkies who needed something to do during their downtime.
For those who don’t know, Ring Fit Adventure is a fitness game released by Nintendo in October of last year. The game comes with a ring that resembles a Pilates ring, and the aim is to use the ring to engage in resistance-based exercises while playing as an RPG character.
As you run and exercise in your living room, your character runs through the virtual world and fights evil. Each exercise is an attack, so you’re literally kicking ass as you work out. It’s an engaging and sincerely fun way to stay more active.
Getting Fit as a Ring
As the smash hit descendant of the beloved Wii Fit, Ring Fit seemed destined to remake the world in a sexier image.
Yet despite all of our best intentions, none of us were playing by the time Christmas rolled around.
I managed to “work out” almost daily for five weeks using the game, and worked my way up to World 10 in the storyline.
I surpassed everyone I knew who was playing, and was pretty darn proud of myself. But then Christmas came as it always does; with relatives, stress, and truckloads of food.
It also came with newer, shinier games that didn’t swap fun for sweat. So my Ring Fit pilates-ring was swapped out for a regular controller and was lost somewhere behind the shoe rack.
And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost.
History became legend, legend became myth; and for two and a half thousand years the Ring passed out of all knowledge. Until when chance came, the coronavirus shut down the country and eventually the city.
*Shoutout to my boy J.R.R Tolkien for that misused and abused quote.
But seriously, I didn’t touch Ring Fit again until I was forced to stay in my apartment for what I thought would be days and has stretched into weeks.
Except for hospital visits, I’ve been confined to my apartment for over a month.
As with most things including sleeping in and Vegemite toast, too much of something cool eventually becomes nightmarish.
I consider myself a homebody, but even I need the sunshine eventually. For the first few weeks of our forced confinement, I was allowed to leave every two days to have my finger re-dressed.
It was a horrible process that involved lots of nasty medical practices that kept my finger from becoming infected. But now that it’s over, my finger has recovered, and I’m left missing the small things.
I miss sunlight, the smell of outside, and actually moving my legs.
Unfortunately for me, simply trudging between the small living spaces in my tiny apartment isn’t enough to keep my body from shutting down.
To counteract the slow death of the nation, the Chinese government has started broadcasting at-home exercises every day, starring Chinese Olympians and celebrities.
I can either catch these on state-run TV, watch English language ones on YouTube, or dig out the Ring and re-start my adventure with Nintendo.
The Third Option
I chose Nintendo and fired up the TV, determined to continue my adventure and stop my muscles from going into atrophy.
The first sign of trouble was confronting the difficulty level I’d worked my way up to last year.
I’d slaved my ass off to advance my avatar to a high level, then gave up the game cold turkey. I now had to return to the game with the difficulty levels high, and my muscles half-turned to jelly.
My first day back, I only worked out 10 minutes before having to stop, dripping in sweat and legs shaking.
I remembered back to December when I could get through half an hour with only a slight ache in my arms. But now after a month in confinement, anything more than a single squat is killing me.
The Bunker Life
Every day is a struggle that would remind one of life spent in a bunker. I get out of bed in the morning and make my way to my laptop to do my work.
After a few hours, I crawl back to bed and have a nap. After that, I ideally spend as long as possible on Ring Fit before helping myself to a big meal.
The rest of the day is made up of a mixture of couch-based video games, TV shows and annoying my cats.
The cats look at me like I’m so weak. They know I can’t survive in the apartment as well as they can, and they know it’s killing me.
I know that if I die in this apartment, they’re going to eat my face, so I’m determined to stay alive.
Nintendo is literally keeping me alive and keeping my face intact. So with that thought, it’s time for me to start squatting while looking at the TV and screaming at the gods.