Our Wii has changed our lives
Back in May, we purchased a Nintendo Wii. Not being one to spend money frivolously, it was a purchase I really struggled with. I used to frivolous, and that was one of the many reasons we got ourselves in a bit of a financial mess. But after discussing it with my wife for a long time we finally decided to purchase one.
I was fortunate enough to actually be able to find one and we used our economic stimulus package money to pay for it. The day we brought our Nintendo Wii home, plugged it in and started playing it changed our lives. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true.
The evening routine
My kids have had various game consoles for a while. My wife and I aren’t big gamers, but I do enjoy playing to occasional round of 3rd person shooters or Neverwinter Nights with some friends online using our computer. My wife on the other hand is more a puzzle/arcade game fan using her computer. We did have a Nintendo 64 for a while, but as we had more kids we just didn’t have the time to play.
So each evening I would sit in my chair on my laptop, my wife in her chair on her laptop and we would each do our own thing (typically with the TV on the background). We would talk and share funny articles on the internet, share sites with each other, etc. This has been pretty much our routine now for the past 2-3 years or so.
Well low and behold over that past 2-3 years we’ve slowly put on weight. Not a quick weight gain, but a very slow. One of those were you don’t really notice it until all of the sudden one day your pants won’t snap and you can’t see your feet anymore. This realization occurred about the same time we purchased the Wii.
Since then, we’ve been on a diet and trying to be more active. It’s so hot here in the Carolinas right now that being outside and active is just miserable, let alone not healthy. We even tried joining our local YMCA, but taking our kids and trying to workout is more work than the exercise itself.
Enter the Nintendo Wii. The Wii is an interesting little box. It’s not real fancy, at least from the outside and the graphics aren’t anything all that amazing. To be honest, I don’t think it looks much better than the Nintendo 64 we had more than 10 years ago. It does remind me of an Apple product though in that you just plug it in and it works.
What sets the Wii apart though are the wireless controllers. When you play a Wii game, you don’t just sit there on your posterior exercising your fingers away while the rest of your body goes numb. With the Wii, in most cases you have to stand up and move. The Wii assigns you a “Mii” that is an on-screen character that represents you. To make your Mii do things, you use the controller. So if you want to throw something, you use you arm and make a throwing motion. If you want to lift something, you use the controller in a lifting motion. Playing Wii golf? You actually do a real golf swing.
The truely neat thing is that it just works. The Wii is really am amazing piece of technology and an idea I think will change gaming going forward for good. See, when you play the Wii you get tired, you break a sweat, and you’ll be sore the next day. Of course it’s so fun though, you’ll do it again the next evening. When you play a game on the Wii, you aren’t just playing but exercising. It’s the what I’ve been looking for for a long time: a way to exercise and have fun.
Working out and spending time together
The Wii has been life changing for us as it’s gotten us up out of our chairs, working together playing games, interacting and at the same time losing weight. Our kids (who we let play a little) love watching us play to, so it’s become a really fun family event.
I’ve also been very concerned and disciplined with myself and my kids about not playing games too much, but with the Wii I truely don’t feel guilty since I’m exercising. Nintendo of course realized this whole exercise concept early on and developed the Wii Fit to target exercise. While we don’t have a Wii Fit yet we do plan to get one. Currently, they are as hard to find as the basic Wii’s were a year or two ago.
We’ve played all the Wii Sports games, then purchased Mario Kart, but our latest addiction…er…game is Boom Blox. Boom Blox is like playing Jenga. You have to work together to solve Jenga like puzzles to gain points. The problems encourage team work and is really fun and challenging to play.
Thinking back on the Wii purchase, I look at it now as more of an investment than expense. The Wii has had a very positive influence on my family including helping us all get in a shape, spending more family time interacting and having a good time and frankly with Boom Blox it’s challenged our thinking and maybe sharpened our minds a little.
When I purchased the Wii, I never thought I would get these benefits our of it. My wife and I were just looking for something that might be fun to do together every so often. I can honestly say, the Wii is one of the best things I’ve spent my money on in a while.
I know there are those of you out there doubting the whole exercise thing. Sure, it’s not the same as a full aerobic workout, but try a few rounds of boxing sometime and see if you don’t think different.
How about you? Do you have a Wii? What are your thoughts on it? Have you been considering getting one? Add a comment!
Photo by: Hachimaki