Our very first major purchase after we married in August of 1985, was a Mac 512k (aka the “Fat Mac”). We only bought it under the condition that for every penny Sam spent on computer related paraphernalia, I got a matching fund for clothing. Soon, I became enamored with the little box and we had to schedule non-conflicting computer times.
Even before we had children, we accumulated a handful of computer games. My favorite was Seahaven Towers and the original SimCity. For one birthday, Sam got his dream of receiving Crystal Quest with—believe it or not—the ground-breaking Critter Editor.
When our first daughter was barely old enough to sit upright without toppling on her head, I wrote a little choo-choo train game for her in HyperCard. Thereafter, educational games were something of a fixture in our home.
Still, I was utterly opposed to…gasp…a video game console. It was just wrong and would, without a doubt, create fat, mush-brained, zombie children who said “dude” to punctuate every sentence.
Two years ago, I was assaulted on two sides in a moment of weakness. Not only had Sam suggested more than once that what he really wanted for his birthday was a Wii gaming system. He assured me that it wouldn’t be like playing Pong or Space Invaders because it was totally active and really good for fitness and eye/hand coordination—but I had some girlfriends in a forum who echoed the exact same sentiments. (I have not yet been able to prove that a conspiracy was afoot.)
So, after 22 years of resisting, 2007 was the year I gave in and we became just like every other family in America.
Two years later, I have to admit that I kind of like the Wii thing. I’m no expert on video games by any stretch, but even I have used it enough to have fun.
One of the my favorite features is the Wii Fit system. Believe it or not, you really can get a good workout with a video system. (I’ve got mean hula hoop action.) The graphics and scoring make it more fun and motivating than just jogging around the neighborhood. The system settings that unlock new games when you reach particular levels of play are encouraging. You can even play with other family members. It has a built-in tracking system that allows you to monitor your progress, too. I highly recommend getting Wii Fit right along with your original purchase.
Another plus. If you have your car outfitted with a DVD player, you can get a very inexpensive car adapter for your Wii system and plug it right into the car. Check eBay for killer deals. (We got our Wii Fit system there, too.) We did this for a long car trip to California and it was a lifesaver. You won’t hear “are we there yet?” nearly as often.