Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Family Time for All - Wii

When I was little, I bought an original 8-bit Nintendo, and like many people of my generation, Mario became a significant part of my world. While it was always a mainstay at birthday parties and late night sleepovers, it never seemed to cross the generational divide. Sure, my parents, grandparents, and babysitters were all gracious enough to get whupped by a 5th grader at the latest digital adventure, but in retrospect, I'd hardly call it quality time.

Fast forward 20 years to a point where video games had gone the way of baseball cards, Legos, and Thundercats. The graphics and player controls had evolved, but so had I. No longer could I up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, select, start with the best of them. Worse yet, it could be said that I had become "too old" for modern day video games (reminiscing about controllers with only 2 buttons clued me in). Until the Wii.

As we described earlier, J and I hosted Thanksgiving in D.C. this year (see post here). Clearly, there is no shortage of sights to see in this city (read our favorites here), but when weary feet and stormy weather pushed the party indoors, what was this merged, multi-generational family to do? In the past, family board games would rule. Pictionary, Mah Jong, Cranium, and Trivial Pursuit are all favorites. But this year it was The Beatles Rock Band on Wii. Over the course of a few days, the parts of John, Paul, George, and Ringo were played by people as young as 11 and as old as... well... old enough to appreciate the game's Ed Sullivan sound clips.

My point is that a product that once divided generations has now found a form that unites them. And in this holiday season, when we think about gift giving and quality family time, I feel like I must say thanks to the Beatles and especially to Nintendo for enhancing our Thanksgiving. It's good to have you back in my life!

J Says

I am a really terrible drummer. Once I start getting my hands to sense the rhythm, I have to add in the kick drum and then it all falls apart. Silly kick drum.

Even though I'm a really bad drummer, I have a blast playing Beatles Rock Band. During Thanksgiving week, we shared a ton of laughs while attempting to play along with hits such as "Eight Days a Week" and "Ticket to Ride." Even if you have no musical talent, you can have fun drumming, strumming, or even just humming along.

We're a really, really good Pictionary team (I correctly guessed "radiation" after B drew one squiggly line) but since you can only play Pictionary with a group, we needed a new game. The Wii has been a great addition to our household. We have a blast trying to beat each other's records on the Wii Fit. I can't beat B in ski jumping but he can't touch me in soccer ball heading.

Whether you're home alone or entertaining a crowd, the Wii can lead to some hilarious antics. Just watch out for that kick drum.

1 comment:

blunoz said...

Couldn't agree more. We've had a lot of cross-generational fun with the Wii, mostly with Wii Bowling and the balancing games on Wii Fit. We've also had a couple of adult-Wii parties where after the kids are in bed, we have some friends come over and have a few martinis while Wii Bowling. I've only flung the Wii controller out of my hand once so far (knock on wood), but luckily it hit the wall next to the TV and not the TV itself. :-)