Last weekend I redeemed a gift certificate for a Nintendo Wii that I was given for Christmas, and I am really glad that I did. This thing is a joy! Its not your average computer gaming console, at all.
The actual machine, the ‘console’, is small… its actually smaller than some books I have. There are no wires from the console to the controllers, so no wires to constantly be fussing with, rearranging, or tripping over. And while there are bang-bang-shoot-’em-up games available, the real fun for G and I has been with the interactive Wii Sports games. To be fair, I did grab a Star Wars ‘Light Sabre Duels’ disk, and the James Bond ‘Quantum of Solace’ disk, but the Wii Sports is getting all the play.
When I say that it is ‘interactive’, I mean that it is the one gaming system that gets you off the couch and on your feet to play. The remote controllers, and they way they interface with the game actually demand that you get physical with the game. The controllers have some sort of sensor in them that tracks where you are holding it, relative to the TV, plus it tracks how fast you move it, what direction you move it, and even if you change the orientation of it while you are moving it. The golf game has you swinging like you where swinging a golf club, the tennis game has you moving and swinging, and flicking your wrist for a little extra zing, bowling requires something approximating a proper swing/release and allows for backspin and topspin through changing the orientation of the controller in your hand, and the boxing game has you really punching. You will work up a sweat… its seems to be good cardio! We played with older brother and sister-in-law on the weekend, and it was a lot of fun… especially when the sister-in-law really got into the boxing game! Holy cow! You should have seen her! Talk about repressed aggression! And last night the girls were over for dinner, and they seemed to have a blast with it as well.
We have now added a Wii Fit module to the game console… not entirely configured yet, but it shows true promise. It has a yoga programme, a basic fitness (strength and cardio) and several balance programmes embedded.
I have noticed that the demand it puts on my movement is very similar to a number of the stretching exercises that my physiotherapist assigned to get my shoulder back in shape… I can really understand why the unit is becoming a big hit in seniors’ lodges.
With even the limited games that we have at the moment, I would recommend this gaming system to anyone! It engages everyone in the household… together or separately. Definitely worth a look… and it is relatively inexpensive!