Yesterday I had my first opportunity to personally experience gameplay with the new Nintendo Wii game system, and my summative thought is: WOW! My cousin managed to purchase a Wii shortly after they came out, and we played (along with other members of our family gathering for the Thanksgiving holiday) the Wii Sports games bowling, baseball, tennis, boxing and golf.
Each remote control for the Wii evidently has three different gyros to sense the motion of the device, and the results are truly amazing. I personally had the most fun playing baseball (especially batting) and also boxing. Having boxed just a few times myself in college (it was a required course!) it was fun to box and not experience getting socked in the chops! My 8 and 6 year old kids interestingly liked boxing the best also. It was really something to see them flailing around at the screen! The setup my cousin has just let us box the computer and not each other, so it will be really something to play this head to head against real people sometime in the future. An additional device (a Nunchuck) is required for boxing, which connects to the Wii remote.
The following is indicative of my poor exercise routine… but I think it also shows just how kinesthetic gameplay with the Wii is. I am actually a bit sore after playing yesterday! I think that is mainly from the baseball batting– so perhaps I should have stretched out first… and I am convicted to get back into an exercise routine after the holiday! It is amazing to realize that we were “just” playing a videogame… Another of my cousins mentioned a local newsreport (in Wichita, Kansas) that reported exercise specialists measured the heartrate of someone boxing in the Wii Sports game, and their heart rate got to something like 90% of their cardiovascular exercise target rate… I can attest to the fact that this is EXTREMELY doable! This seems to confirm what I wrote about awhile back about the Wii redfining the gaming experience! Mike Musgrove seems to agree with me in his Washington Post editorial from yesterday. This quotation is perhaps most telling, and also reflects our experiences yesterday playing Wii Sports here in Kansas:
I have never seen a bunch of non-gamers get into this stuff like this, and I have never heard anybody laugh so much while playing any video game.
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