Body by XBox?

January 18, 2011

Remember Mollie, Bunny’s workout buddy?

She had to go out of town for a while on family business. Bunny is watching her house, feeding her plants, taking care of things.

Since she won’t be around to herd Bunny to the gym, she put a new plan in motion.

Mollie has an XBox 360. She wants Bunny to use it while she’s gone. Mollie set up a profile for Bunny and showed her how to use it. Bunny has had a lot of fun setting up her avatar. An animated Bunny. Interesting.

This kind of device is completely foreign to Bunny. She is not big on video games. She only plays a couple of those stupid Zynga games on Facebook. This one has a device called a Kinect sensor. It is a mystical, magical eye that finds you, identifies you, and responds to commands you issue with a wave of your hand.

Mollie showed Bunny how to play two games. Well, games. Kind of games. Not really games. One is KinectAnimals (or maybe it’s KinectAmals? KinectAbleAnimals?). Bunny adopted a bengal tiger cub and can play with it. She pretends to throw a virtual ball, and the kitty fetches it. She can wrestle with her pet tiger on the “grass” by rolling on the floor of her living room. She scritches his head, and he purrs.

Bunny was having fun with this until she caught Mollie’s cat watching her. She stopped, turned it off, threw the real cat a real ball, snuggled him and petted him. He purred. This seemed to be a better way to spend her time.

But how do they do that? Bunny’s not really in to rolling on the floor, but speaking of that, the second thing Mollie wanted Bunny to play is called Your Shape Fitness Evolved.

Personalized fitness. Real results.


This is a trick. This is sneaky Mollie’s plot to get Bunny to play this fitnessy un-game.

There are games, and there’s working out. You can’t fool Bunny into saying one is the other. Unfortunately.

Fine, OK, whatever, Bunny conceded. What do I do?

The relatives Mollie is staying with, in one of those states that has all the snow, also has an XBox. Mollie set herself up as Bunny’s “friend.” This is nice. Bunny can look at animated Mollie and see when she was last logged on, and what games she has been playing. If Mollie and Bunny are logged on at the same time, Bunny can tell what she’s doing right at that moment.

Of course, that also means that Mollie can see what Bunny’s doing.

Sneaky sneaky.

So Bunny can’t fake it. She can’t say that she was doing the workouts with this Your Shape thing unless she actually did. Mollie would know. Even worse, Mollie can apparently set up a “party” and do the workouts WITH Bunny.

How awful is this?

So, after stalling for a couple of weeks, Bunny stumbled over to Mollie’s house early last Saturday morning, fed the cat, watered the plants, and popped the DVD in.

A nice, helpful voice came on, welcoming her to Your Shape Fitness Evolved, and telling her how wonderful it was all going to be.

MorningIt told her where to stand. It told her how to determine the parameters of her designated spot. It knew when she stepped out of the spot (I’m just reaching for my damned coffee, okay?) It asked her for her gender. It wanted to know her age (it started in the 20’s and went up two years at a time, so it took a while). Then it asked for her weight.

Bunny froze.

Is this the program where the lady tells you that you might as well give up right now because you’re such a fat slob?!

Nope, that’s that Jillian person on Wii. This lady was nice. Thank goodness.

When entering her weight, it started in the 120’s (HA!) and went up, again, two pounds at a time. She finished on Wednesday. Not really, but she WAS holding her hand in the air for a very long time while the two pounds clicked off dozens of times. In fact, she accidentally moved her hand the wrong way, and it stopped before she was at her real weight. Oopsie!

Is that ME?

Is that ME?

Next, a screen came up with a woman doing exercises. She was on the left-hand side of the TV screen. On the right-hand side was a large grayish blob that was moving approximately the same way Bunny was moving.

The large grayish blob was Bunny, as seen by the Kinect sensor.

Oh Lord, this just keeps getting worse.

When the voice cheerfully instructed Bunny to smile while they took a photo for Bunny’s Your Shape profile, the sweats-clad, makeup-free Bunny grabbed her unbrushed hair and ran into the other room.

“Please step back into the target area.”


Open the pod bay doors, Hal…

OK, this is just creepy! Bunny lost it. She grabbed the controller, shut off the XBox and the TV without saving or exiting the program, and sat on the couch, horrified.

Your Fitness Shape Evolved should come with a warning. You think you’re alone, but you’re not alone. We’re going to take your picture and show it back to you every time you log on. And we’re going to show every move you make, in the form of a you’re-going-to-wish-it-was-not-so-accurately-shaped blob. Put on your cutest workout clothes, and don’t forget to apply lipstick. We’re watching you!

This was followed by the equally horrifying realization that since she panicked and shut the system down so abruptly, she may have to go through the whole set-up process again. If so, she’s going to tell them she’s 22 years old, 136 lbs., and when they want to take her picture, she’s going to shove Mollie’s cat’s face into the camera. He’s very photogenic.

So far, this has been rather upsetting for Bunny.

Let’s see what happens next time. After the shock wears off.

Maybe she’ll actually exercise.

Ah, technology!

Thanks, Mollie. Come back soon.

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