Monday, June 18, 2007

Mom, Dad....Meet Wii

I dragged the Wii over to my parent's house this weekend.

My parents are in their 60s. The last games either of them played were on the Atari 2600. Mom was a big fan of Circus Atari (something about the way the little clowns fell head first amused her). Both will very occasionally play solitaire on their respective PCs. Otherwise - they have had little exposure to gaming.

I built a couple of Miis for them and introduced them to Wii Bowling. Understand that neither parent has been bowling since the early 1970s.

It took Dad a few frames to figure out the feel of the Wii remote and how it reacts. Mom was a faster read (especially since she was watching and listening to Dad's comments as he played). Both of them were impressed by the motion control on this game.

I can really see some neat applications for this.

Dad and I also spent quality time playing the other Wii Sports games - just so he can see.

Game he liked least - golf. He's not a golfer anyway and he had a very difficult time getting the feel of the game. Also - of all the games there seemed to be the least amount of synchronicity between his actions and the motion on the screen.

Game he was most intrigued by - boxing. He spent quite a bit of time trying to optimize how to beat up my character. Nothing like a little father/daughter bloodshed to encourage bonding.

Game he snuck downstairs to play more of when Mom and I went shopping - bowling. He thinks I can't tell through the reporting mechanism :' )

My brother called the house while I was there since he heard I brought the new toy over. Dad's comments to my brother:

I'm not much of a gamer - and I probably won't race out to buy one - but it is a really neat thing. I really see an application for that motion control - especially for things like physical therapy and such. And I think Nintendo is on the right track.

My brother then called his friend. The friend promptly called me.

My brother is jealous. It's nice to get one up on my gadget-head brother.


Karyn Romeis said...

I like your Dad's idea for using a Wii for therapy purposes. I have a niece with poor muscle tone. She doesn't have cerebral palsy, but she was tested for it as a child because she passed her milestones so late - only sitting at 10 months. To add to the problem, she is also deaf. My mind is fizzing with ideas for therapeutic Wii games that she could learn by observation and which are not dependent upon spoken communication to master or complete. The problem with so many standard occupational therapy programmes is that the child usually needs a fair level of communicative skill in order to be able to comply with the therapist's instructions.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post ;) I'm actually thinking of buying the Wii for the family, especially my mum who cannot be called a gamer in anyway. Perhaps you could help recommend a few family-oriented games in the future?

Kiara said...

I like this post. I am touched by how your parents got a bonding moment together using this Wii created by Nintendo. I think using this Wii as part of rehabilitation, physical therapy that is, is quite interesting to know. I am a Download Games player and I think its about time to have this Wii console. Thanks for the post.