Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Completely Impartial Review of an Expensive Toy I'll Probably Be Bored With in Less Than A Month

Just last weekend, I got around to plugging my Nintendo Wii into a television and fooling around with it. I have mixed opinions towards Wii: On one hand, it is a hell of a lot of fun, dancing around with that remote in your hand. (Note: Me dancing and me pantomiming playing tennis look more or less the same.) But at the same time, playing Wii sort of feels like exercise, and you walk away from the TV tired, sweaty, and just dying to sit your ass down on the couch and play some video games. It's an insidious little monster, that one.

My home, growing up, was a sad Nintendo-free zone. It was tragic. Instead of running home after school to immerse myself in the choose-your-own-adventures of a cartoon plumber, I was expected to do my homework and read. Books. Not interactive at all. I was totally deprived. My parents figured that video games would turn me into a spaced-out zombie, playing until my fingers fell off and my retinas burned out, trying to reach a high score and forsaking my dying social life. So now I work with computers and don't talk to people. Another successful parenting job. Let's say that I have a lot of repressed shoot-em-up energy looking for an outlet — I seriously do plan on going to a shooting range sometime before I die — but until then, twenty-first century Duck Hunt will do fine. Give it a couple of months and the whole thing will be out of my system, and I'll be onto a sports car obsession or something instead.

Maybe not, though. The Wii is a toy that can be packed with shareware and keeps on giving — at least until the remote slips out of your sweaty hand and into your TV — and I've spent enough quarters in arcades, fiddling with joysticks and slamming my fist into random buttons to be really impressed by the clever team of Japanese fun-gineers stepping out of the mold with their videogame interfaces. I can't wait for the next generation, when they actually implant the video game in your head, which would return video games to their rightful place as a boredom cure for couch potatoes when there's nothing on TV.