Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wii Wii Wii All the Way Home

By Beth Terrell

On Thanksgiving day, my husband, Mike, and I had dinner with Susan, the niece of my mother's boyfriend. The meal was delicious, and the conversation warm. My brother played pool with our hostess's father, Roy and brother, Pat (a police officer whose brain I love to pick). Then they turned on the Wii.

I'd heard of the Wii before, the high-tech video game that uses your own movements to conduct virtual games. Mike, Susan, Pat, and Pat's mother, Robbie decided to play the bowling game. It was remarkable. Mike's throws had a noticeable left hook--just like his real-life bowling style. A good time was had by all. As a self-acknowledged klutz, I enjoyed watching from the sidelines.

Of course a few days later, Mike brought home a Wii of our own. One cool thing about it is that you can personalize your little virtual self (called a Mii), so Mike and I have each made facsimiles of ourselves. These guys are seriously cute. Since then, I've learned that my bowling skills leave a little to be desired, that I'm a terrible golfer but not too bad at table tennis, and quite possibly the worst pilot on the planet. My hat's off to Mark for being able to fly a real plane. I can't tell whether I'm above or even with a church steeple until I crash right into it. I'm terrible with a frisbee, but pretty darn good with a sword. I'm not sure what that says about me, but if the zombie apocalypse comes, I'll be a pro at decapitation--a valuable skill when dealing with the undead.

A few days ago, I made an interesting discovery. I'd been working on my NaNo novel and hit a snag. No matter what I did, I couldn't get past it. So I took a break, and Mike and I played with the Wii for awhile. He crushed me in bowling, I beat him at table tennis, and we took turns knocking each other off a cliff and into the water with our swords. When I sat back down at my computer, the words and ideas suddenly started to flow again. I don't know if it was the break, the physical activity (yes, you can work up a sweat with the Wii), or some magical quality of the little Miis (mini Miis?), but tonight, it happened again.

I'm wondering if maybe I should tell the Wii people. They could market their product as a cure for Writer's Block.

Does this mean we can write it off on our income taxes?


Jean Henry Mead said...

I've got to get mii a Wii, but I doubt the IRS will allow it as a tax deduction. If it's fun, it must stimulte creative juices. Thanks for a fun post, Beth.

Anonymous said...

So funny, Beth! Now I know what Wii is. And -- wait for it -- what will they think of next? (-:

Pat Browning

Mark W. Danielson said...

Beth, I'm so thankful I learned to fly in the "Dark Ages" when you actually piloted an airplane. I hand-fly far more than most, but even so, the autopilot does the majority of the flying.

A few years back, a Japanese man adicted to pilot video games was so convinced he could fly a Boeing 747, he broke into the cockpit, and killed the captain before he was detained. He just wanted to prove he was as good as any pilot.

This year, for the first time, the USAF trained more pilots to fly drones than actual aircraft. So with a Wii bit more practice, you, too, can fly as well as any pilot. (And if you believe that . . .)

Beth Terrell said...

Mark, my husband could probably learn to fly a drone, but I've decided that I lack the depth perception or spacial awareness or something of that sort. For example, I can never tell if I'm above the church steeple or about to crash into it. Mike says, "You have plenty of room," and I'm saying, "'s right THERE!"

I'm perfectly happy to let the experts do the flying.

What a horrible thing for that video gamer to do!