There can be no doubting that the Nintendo Wii, despite the still extremely silly name even after living with it for a couple of months, has been something of a gaming revolution. Not because of the power of the console, Nintendo has no gone down the Hi-Def, triple core, HD-DVD, Blu-ray, yada yada yada path of Microsoft and Sony, and it has done sales little harm. Nope, this revolution is being backed by good old fashioned fun.
The factor that has all but been somehow forgotten in the competitive rush to be crowned kings of gaming hardware, it would seem to me. yet the Wii is a revelation as well as revolution, anyone can pick it up and play. Literally. The controller makes playing any game both easy and incredible fun, and there are games aplenty to exploit the enjoyment.
Let’s face it, the Nintendo Wii is a family gaming sensation and there is very little that anyone can say about it in a derogatory fashion. And that's the problem. The parent company does well to keep out of the political battle of wills and dirt slinging competitions that one has come to expect from both Microsoft and Sony, preferring to let the games do the talking. So it should come as no surprise that we, the media, have to be a little more creative in conjuring up sensational, attention grabbing headlines (what did you think of mine, by the way?)
Which is why this week there are reports of a chap from Philly called Mickey DeLorenzo who claims to have lost nine pounds as a result of a Wii Sports workout, 30 minutes every day for six weeks. The new take on armchair sports saw the 25 year old playing tennis, bowling, boxing and baseball. The fact that he admits to never having dieted or worked out to lose weight before might, of course, explain his surprise at shedding a few pounds by actually doing some this time.
Meanwhile, another story grabbing the headlines is a more tragic one, although with little real bearing on the Wii at all. The only connection being that some numbnuts radio station in Sacramento decided to run a competition with a hard to get hold of Wii as the prize. To win, participants had to drink as much water as they could without, err, having a wee. The morning radio show called this the ‘hold your wee for a Wii’ contest. A total of twenty folk took part, unfortunately 28 year old Jennifer Strange, a mother of three, died of water intoxication after drinking nearly two gallons of aqua. Not many people are aware of the fact that an excess of water can dilute vital body fluids, swell the brain and lead to a coma and death. The DJs, apparently, were as they joked on air about water intoxication. Her family are now suing the station, three DJs and seven other employees have been lost their jobs.
I don’t own a Wii, because they are rarer than rocking horse dung in the UK right now, but if I did I think I would probably enjoy playing the games with my family, while eating sensibly and exercising at the gym, and taking regular toilet breaks. Mind you, if I did drop down dead during a game it wouldn’t surprise me to read the headlines in the newspaper the next day of how the Wii controller doubles up as a portable resuscitation device and saved my life...