A Wii Christmas

by

Scott McGrewI got my father truly one of the weirdest Christmas gifts ever: a Nintendo Wii. Sure, lots of kids got Wiis (Wii’s?) for Christmas, but I suspect he’s one of the only 70 year olds to get one.

Why a Wii? Because I knew he would like it. Back last May, my dad was passing through Los Angeles at the same time I was in L.A. for the E3 video game convention. I invited him to stop by and see what I did for a living, interviewing video game makers about their upcoming products. He was bewildered by everything he saw — and predictably critical of many of the more violent games. Like many of his generation, he was uneasy trying his hand at game play. “C’mon, Dad, it’s left-trigger/x-button/left thumbstick! Everyone knows that”.

And then he tried the newly unveiled Wii. As everyone knows by now, the Wii uses wireless motion sensitive controllers which mimic real life. So to play tennis, you swing the controller like a tennis racket. To box, you punch the controllers in the air. And Dad was delighted. He “got it.”

Nintendo was pleased too. They were showing the Wii off for the first time and were eager to see what “non-players” thought of their new invention. Nintendo figures it will surrender marketshare of hardcore gamers to the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 in favor of attracting everyone else — the moms, the grandfathers and others who would not otherwise try a video game.

So, I thought, the Wii was a perfect Christmas gift for the guy who has everything (and can buy himself anything he wants).

Come Christmas, I had warned my children ahead of time that the Wii belonged to Papa, and they were not to “just show him something real quick” and take away the controller, no matter how badly they wanted to play. And they resisted, for a time. Papa did share, as you can see from this picture of my father and my oldest son competing in a boxing game.

So I’m proud to say, my dad’s a video gamer.

Scott McGrew
NBC11 Business & Tech Reporter

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