Things I’ve Learned from my Wii

wiiI’ve always traveled in gamer circles and never been a gamer. I don’t what it is about them, but I love the gamer types — they’re passionate, geeky, focused, funny, creative…. something. Or maybe it’s just that everyone in the world is a gamer except me, and that’s why I always feel surrounded. Regardless, for the last 15 years or so, I’ve always taken the emergence of a video game console or colorful set of 20-sided dice as my cue to leave a party and call it a night.

So I was rather surprised at myself when I bought a Nintendo Wii in January. Maybe it was my rebellion against feeling socially excluded for so long — this Wii is mine, all mine. Or maybe I just thought it would fit me.

I ditched Wii Sports immediately (I hate sports), bought a Wii Fit (which is a nice way to get myself to move when I don’t want to leave my house), picked up House of the Dead and some gun accessories for zombie-killing date nights (way more romantic than you might imagine), and splurged on Super Paper Mario Bros (which I love).

Here’s what my Wii has taught me so far…

#1) I get really excited when I can figure out a strategy on my own. I don’t want to be told how to do things — I want to be given information to work with and make my own decisions. Even if I’m going to come to the same conclusions everyone else did and, really, we could have just saved me an hour just by spelling it out up front… I won’t love it unless I came up with it myself.

#2) I pay attention to feedback when it can help me refine my strategies. Otherwise, I ignore it. Points, music, flashing colors, info bars, whatever… if I recognize that it can help me do something better, it’s on my radar. If I don’t, it may as well not exist.

#3) I want to be able to test and refine my strategies immediately, as soon as I come up with them. A game is addictive to me when there is minimal barrier between “Oh, I think I know what I should have done differently,” and trying that out.

#4) I like kid stuff. I don’t care how much I grow up, I think I’m always going to like something that’s simple, colorful, and pleasantly engaging… as long as I can connect with it without messing with my social reputation too much.  And Wii is cool, so I’m okay.

#5) With my lifestyle, I’m probably going to get RSI. My Wii arm gently informed my mousing arm of this fact. And the RSI is probably going to be because of my mousing arm, not my Wii arm.  And I should probably do something about that likelihood sooner rather than later.  Argh.

Okay, so that last one was a downer. But the rest were really intriguing to me, and I want to apply them to web development and community management somehow.

What patterns have you noticed about your brain in gaming?

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7 Responses to “Things I’ve Learned from my Wii”

  1. Allison Says:

    I like puzzle games, cute action-adventure games, the occasional RPG, and MarioKart. Anything that requires lots of button combos (sports games, smash bros, fighting games) is out. Which is probably why I shouldn't get a Wii… because then I will never leave the house. :o) I guess I'm tactical and I like cuteness?

  2. Meg61 Says:

    I am a Xboxer on and off. I find that I have no patience for the tedium of redos (after I have failed), therefore I save…….. a lot.

  3. Sheik Says:

    I'm a storyteller, always have been, so games with intruiging plot lines (and at least tolerable music, graphics and gameplay, I have standards ya know) or with the ability for me to create my own story (a la open ended RPGs such as Morrowind) are my bread and butter.

    I'm also a total nerd in that I make my own game guides (sometimes from other online guides, sometimes from my own experiences) and use them fairly often. (I probably had over 50 pages -electronically- for Morrowind when I played everyday).

    I also get fairly irritated when the controls are more complicated. I can never play fighting games because for me to remember the ^<XYB<<^>>> bullcrap is a total pain.

    Also, the Sims, OMFG. the sims 3 is coming out in June and I'm waaaay too excited for it. At least it'll be over the summer when I don't have to worry about my GPA.

    -A

  4. Meg61 Says:

    I loved Morrowind too, although I lost my purpose at the end and just wandered around until I found a new game to play. If you haven't played Mass Effect then you really should check it out. I am not that much of a gamer but I was totally addicted to this game for about 3-4 months. I finally got burned out when I was playing it on insane level. The story line is great and there is no ^<XYB<<^>>> bullcrap which I agree is a total pain.

  5. Meester Clean Says:

    Word, Sarah. You would love "Boom Blox" and a Wii Ware game called "World of Goo." I am a huge puzzle fan and those two are huge puzzle games. I handed a controller to my Honduran Mother In Law over Christmas break and let her go on Boom Blox… It was just like the commercial, if you replace the big, clean white room with a tiny Honduran house.

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