Monday, January 8, 2007

My first adult system

Indeed, I picked up a Wii today. Mine is now named Leopold, and my computer is Bloom, for what that’s worth. Anyway, a friend of mine has judiciously been checking the Wii’s availability at the local gaming emporium since its release last year...clearly we wanted it, but only when we could just step in and pick it up.*

I don't know what to say that hasn't been covered by every other venue, but it's my first console system that wasn't originally given to me by my parents (ahh, Power Pad), so as someone called it today, it's my first grown-up system. Bit strange, since for me it has no killer app (I actually own games for systems I don't own), so I didn't pick it up for one compelling reason (Golden Axe). I wax pretty effusive when talking about it, even with the polite nodders who would never think of buying one and foolishly allow me to think all the things I think about it out loud. Like its relative affordability, great design, low power consumption, the general good karma of the company behind it, ease of use. You know, like Apple. Except, you know, populist and welcoming. But the fascination with it is clearly that created not just a hot purchasable item, but a social event of sorts. Mothers I know who never touch these things will play with the Wii . Why, with the messageboard in place, it's truly a purchase for a household--a person to person social creation. Mind you, the Nintendo GameCube, other than a few, potent franchises (Mario, Zelda...) seemed to hold its own only through its party games, so it's not a new idea to them. While the other systems allow for side-by-side play, none of them encourage it the way Nintendo does, which may allow it to claim at least the number two spot in the console market. As made evident by the xbox, tech specs (though not too shabby in either incarnation), matters less if players have an easy, intuitive way to connect with friends.**

But now I'm meandering, and I still have to set up my wireless router so I can register Leopold with the proper authorities—and I can be reunited with the 70ish-fitness-leveled Mii I created on my friend’s system the first time I played...and maybe I'll get around to that post about the video game as the next great novel.


*I'm not sure how it is with you folk, but I passive/aggressively add barriers to things that are luxuries. Like go to a movie I have marginal interest in only if number of friends want to see it, wait for the price drop, etc... My personal consumerist tipping points. Waiting till it I could walk in and get it is a pretty weak one, so it was pretty obvious I was getting one.
**Xbox Live being that machine's killer app far more than Halo ever was.

4 comments:

Jonny America said...

So is your life draining away before your eyes yet? What have you been playing?

My local library lends out computer games. They are all modern ones released within the last few years. Mostly award winners. How warped is that? The world is conspiring to distract from finding gainful employment.

hcduvall said...

No, but the hours spent sleeping are getting shorter. Thank goodness for long weekend.
Rayman's Raving Rabbits, Wii Sports, but mostly Twilight Princess...and a few recentish additions on the computer which I've since set aside.

I have a review of Dreamfall (the sequel to The Longest Journey) coming up. If you were ever a fan of adventure games, I'd endorse that (the first one more).

Chengora said...

Do the games get repetitive at all? I figure RRR would get that way, but does Wii Sports? Also, how..."invigorating" is it all? Do you play Zelda standing up too?

SS got me a number of games when she went back, so I'll hopefully have some reviews soon too. So, "no dice" refers to non-dice games?

HoBs said...

"You know, like Apple. Except, you know, populist and welcoming. "

I love it. Also Apple unlike the Wii also tends to be more expensive than everyone else. But otherwise, great.

"*I'm not sure how it is with you folk, but I passive/aggressively add barriers to things that are luxuries. Like go to a movie I have marginal interest in only if number of friends want to see it, wait for the price drop, etc... My personal consumerist tipping points. Waiting till it I could walk in and get it is a pretty weak one, so it was pretty obvious I was getting one."

Economic game theorists refer to that as the "problem of the weak willed dieter," as in the dieter who puts a lock on his refrigerator door to prevent midnight snacking. Though it is much easier to think that people's preferences don't change by the hour, behavioral economists are starting to consider the implications if they do (clearly a smoker's willingness to pay for a cigarette can vary quite a bit). Lots of economic applications, saving for retirement, health-club membership (health club owners charge up front fees because they know that most people will sign up but never go).

Leads to interesting policy solutions. Like requiring a government issued card that expires monthly to buy cigarettes. The card would be free to anyone over 18, but you have to apply for the card, and wait for it to come in the mail. So someone with a sudden craving couldn't get a cigarette, but it wouldn't stop anyone who really wanted to smoke.