the charm in video games

We have a Wii. It is the first video gaming system that even someone with my limited hand/eye coordination can play and enjoy. Part of its charm is just that – everyone in the family, regardless of age or athletic ability can have fun and do well at some game. With that said, my husband & my oldest hold most of the top scores in any game we play. My husband kicks everyone’s ass at tennis or golf or bowling or the obstacle course or the snowball fight… he’s competitive, he’s got skillz, he’s got excellent hand/eye coordination, call it what you will – he wins. (whatever)

But back to the Wii… Another part of its charm is that it gets you off the couch to play most of its games. Though it didn’t take long for some people in this house (say 30 something male people) to discover that you don’t really have to stand up and move around to play the games. You can fake it all too well from the couch. But again, he holds the high scores in most games so it’s hard to argue the merits of any sort of physical gain when he has the little stars by his name. (or whatever they do to show that you are the champion… I don’t have any stars or crowns or smiley faces so I’m not sure what you winners see.)

To get back on track – I like the Wii because there’s something fun for everyone (even lame 30 something moms) and it gets people moving around. I’m always a fan for moving around – just ask my poor in-laws who may never vacation with us again. So when I saw the kids playing Just Dance at a friends house I was intrigued. A new game. A game that requires getting up off your behind. A game that even the middle-child who abhors physical activity would play because it involves dancing.

We borrowed it from friends this weekend and let me tell you it is so very fun! It’s got songs from the 70s and songs from today. It’s designed for group play or single play. It’s competitive but fun. It actually made me a little sweaty… of course we played it for 60+ minutes and I had something to prove to the 12yo. So I’m already a fan and the kids love it but before I bought it I wanted to see if the video game champ in our house might like it.

He played four songs with me. It made him breathe heavily (it did – don’t let him tell you otherwise). He was definitely competitive (though I still won… every song). And I have no doubt that when we have it, if he chose to play it, he’d be pumping up the high score in no time.

But he doesn’t like it. Is it because the perennial loser at video games scored higher? (probably not, he’s competitive but rarely a sore loser) Is it because he’s a bad dancer? (I don’t think so) Is it because he had to move around? (ahem) I won’t guess the reason but I’ve decided it doesn’t matter.

So if you happen to walk past our house and see us moving around the living room in some sort of synchronization that still makes us look like idiots (another one of the Wii’s charms) you’ll know that we are Just Dancing.

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2 thoughts on “the charm in video games

  1. We refused to buy any gaming systems for a long time but broke down and got a wii a couple years ago. Like at your house, people quickly figured out how to play most of the games while seated (or even laying down) on the couch.

    But, I do have to say that it does engage the whole family fairly often and it is on the family TV so it can’t be played all the time.

    We played DDR at my mom’s house….I am terrible. Not sure why, but I played just so that people would laugh at me.

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