Given the appeal of the Wii to children and the benefit of moving around, it’s not surprising to hear that the Wii was being integrated into the classroom as part of a physical education program in the United Kingdom. However, that integration has come under fire by education campaigners who claim that the Wii is merely a “gimmick” that is “pandering to the physically idle.”

Late last year, five schools in Worcestershire, England began to integrate an award-winning program that used the Nintendo Wii “to improve attitude, behavior and attendance in schools across the partnership.” The program specifically targeted children who missed out on physical education, as well as those who opted out of participating in after-school clubs.

“School Sport Partnerships across the country are doing some ground-breaking work to increase participation levels amongst young people which is vital as we work towards our target of offering all young people five hours of sport a week. We’re proud of the way Droitwich and Worcester City School Sport Partnership are engaging young people to do more sport,” Steve Grainger, chief executive of the Youth Sport Trust, told the Worcester News last December.

However, the chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, Nick Seaton, has openly criticized the plan to Channel 4 News. “It looks like another gimmick. It’s pandering to the views of the physically idle,” he said. “Pupils would be far better doing serious competitive sports and games than this sort of thing.”

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