Will Wii show the way?

Feb 12, 2007, 11:01 AM, Posted by Chinwe Onyekere

Since RWJF began its work with Games for Health we have been thinking about how to get the video game industry involved and interested. I think the answer presented itself with an article that was in the New York Times on the Nintendo Wii. The article says that Wii’s popularity over its competitors, Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is linked with getting players active as they play the game. Now this is something that makes me very excited. It demonstrates consumers wanting to “play” video games in a different way—a way that can give them a workout while they are trying to advance to the next level. And the people at Nintendo, in their market research, must have figured out that this was a latent, as-yet-unmet need of video game users.

Today, NPR had a segment on how the Wii may be only the first step in a whole new notion of the user’s interface with technology.

The example of the Wii makes me wonder about the ability of the business sector to understand and tap the minds of consumers.  My next question then is, if the business sector can do this, how can we engage it, or at least its market research skill, in creating the next major innovation in health?

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Pioneering Ideas blog.