Fitness Boxing Rated T for Teen for Accurately Depicting the Female Form

For a game about encouraging people to move, the ESRB seems pretty hell-bent on making sure children don't play Fitness Boxing.

As the spiritual successor to Wii Fit, Fitness Boxing has–naturally–flown under the radar. Its release seems to have been aimed at cashing in on those of us who are looking to start off 2019 with a workout routine or, at least, some way to justify our “new year, new me” attitude. But now that reviews are coming in and people are getting the chance to experience the game, there’s one thing that’s seemed to slip our minds: Fitness Boxing is rated “T” for “Teen.”

According to the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), that’s because the game features “Suggestive Themes,” or more specifically, because “all of the female characters have breast physics incorporated into their movements; their breasts frequently jiggle/bounce in a noticeable manner during stretching and boxing routines.”

Boobs, bosom, breasts, we all have them, and, almost everyone has had their mouth on one in their life. They’re so ingrained into the very fabric of life, and yet, a boxing game that’s intended to encourage people to exercise is deemed an inappropriate place to have them move.

It’s unclear why developer Imagineer decided to include breast physics, but it could just be so that women could see a reflection of themselves in the game’s four female fitness instructors.

“I don’t believe the game should be rated ‘T’ for the jiggle physics alone. Having jiggle physics, while not entirely necessary in my opinion, also isn’t anything that is too overtly sexual.” Audrey Lips, DualShockers’ Community Manager said. “It’s how a woman’s body would naturally respond if they were to be boxing like that in real life and in the game.”

This begs the question: why is the spiritual successor to Wii Fit being punished by the ESRB for accurately representing the human body?

I was pushing obese at 10-years-old and Wii Fit was one of the only things that got me up off the couch–because it was a game. Childhood Obesity has been increasing nationally since the late ’70s, with the rate quadrupling to 20 percent in recent years, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The game’s “Mild Violence” descriptor would see the game rated “E” for “everyone,” but “Suggestive Themes” mean that the ESRB can only recommend the game for people 13 years and older. ESRB ratings are intended to “provide concise and objective information about the content in video games and apps so consumers, especially parents, can make informed choices,” according to their website.

“Speaking as a woman, the movement of one’s breasts can impact a workout and without the right support such as a proper sports bra or constricting shirt, it can be pretty painful and assuredly jiggly to perform aerobics because they will move alongside you,” Emily Hobbs, former DualShockers Writer said. “It’s totally normal, and to be saying that it’s something an individual under the age of 13 would be scarred by is silly at best and out of touch at the worst.”

Interestingly, the game is rated PEGI 7 in Europe, with the game only being cited for “non-realistic” violence. Rachael Fiddis writes for DualShockers and is currently based in Ireland, where the PEGI rating applies.

“I’ll never understand why the female body has to be a sexual playground in games,” Fiddis said. “I think it’s obnoxious–aren’t we fucking over jiggly tits already?”

The United States puts freedom of speech on a pedestal, but I guess having breasts move in a boxing game is still inappropriate for those under the age of 13 in 2019.

Fitness Boxing is available now on the Nintendo Switch (but consult an adult before purchasing). Our very own Ben Bayliss is working on the review and noted that he didn’t even notice the jiggle physics until he saw the ESRB rating. You can check out Nintendo’s overview trailer of the game below and see for yourself.

Noah Buttner

Noah Buttner is a staff writer at Dualshockers. He specializes in textual and visual analysis and is based in New York, where he recently obtained a degree in Journalism from Stony Brook University.

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