John McDonald

Blogging about politics, life, and the web

So the Wii does get non-gamers gaming after all

February 5th, 2010

I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but the marketing got to my girlfriend and she decided she wanted a Nintendo Wii.  Its been a while since we’ve had any console games in this house and she’s never been particularly interested in video games at all, so you will understand if I was skeptical about the whole idea.

Well, the skepticism was probably misplaced, because the Wii is getting a whole lot of use and Aisling is the primary one using it!  After years of trying to find a video game she could be entertained by (beyond FreeCell), it seems the designers at Nintendo know exactly how to get non-gamers interested in gaming.

While I won’t be giving up my more in-depth and control-obsessed PC games like Dungeons & Dragons Online, Civilization, or Unreal Tournament, I can kind of remember the simplistic appeal of the old two-button Nintendo controllers and I think the Wii has done a great job of recreating that ease-of-play that first got me interested in gaming so many years ago.

My favorite aspect though, is probably that we can enjoy multiplayer games while being so cheap that we haven’t even got a second controller.  The bowling game included with Wii Sports is getting a lot of play time, especially when friends stop by.  With just one controller, up to four people can play at once.  I mean its bowling – you had to stand up and sit down before it was a video game, too.

The difference of course, is that instead of a stale-beer-smelling bowling alley, we can sit on our couch and eat much better & cheaper food out of the fridge.  Considering the cost of drinks, food, shoe rental, and games of bowling, we could have easily spent $200-$300 at the bowling alley instead of buying the Wii.  Well, that seems like a good choice to me.

Then there’s Wii Fit Plus.  That’s Aisling’s favorite game but I haven’t really tried it out so I can’t comment too much.  There are a lot of interesting mini-games in it and they claim to keep track of all your calorie expenditures – but not even I’m ready to concede that a video game could help you lose weight or get in shape.  Its not like she needs to anyway 😉

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