It is an interactive games console usually associated with taciturn teenagers locked in their bedrooms for hours on end.
But the Nintendo Wii is fast becoming the tool of choice for physiotherapists and is replacing traditional rehabilitation methods.
The Nintendo Wii is so effective it is now widely used in the NHS to help heal those with a variety of injuries or illnesses from Parkinson’s Disease to Hemiplegia, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy and amputated limbs.
And a recent study – the first of its kind – found that patients could make a faster recovery playing Wii games than with conventional therapy.
Therapists are enthused by the fact that the Wii enables players to physically participate in a game, which helps them retain and regain their motor skills.
Instead of pushing buttons to make an animated character hit a tennis ball, the player physically swings an imaginary racquet using the wireless remote control.
Rebecca Scott, senior physiotherapist at The National Star College in Cheltenham, said that more than one third of the college’s 150 patients have used Wii as part of their physiotherapy.