Our Wii has changed our lives

By glblguy

nintendo wii

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.

Nintendo Wii

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.

Cost/Benefit

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


17 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Our Wii has changed our lives”

  1. Kristen Says:

    My little cousins got a Wii for Christmas. I have never been into video games, but I love the Wii and am planning on getting one of my own eventually. Our whole family had so much fun playing (and working off some of our Christmas brunch!). The adults were in line for turns just like the kids. It was great. And it is nice to have something engaging that gets you moving in the middle of winter when it’s too cold to be outside.

  2. Momma Says:

    The Wii is coming up for us, this Christmas I think. I love the idea. We’ve played it at friends houses and had a fabulous time. It’s just not in the budget yet. :) The more I hear about it, the more I really think we’re going to enjoy it.

  3. Frugal Dad Says:

    Like you, we also debated over purchasing a Wii, because on the surface it didn’t seem very “frugal.” We decided to save up for a couple months and then bought one with cash. We haven’t regretted it at all. The Wii is a lot of fun, and has provided several family fun nights in, as opposed to going out to eat and/or to a movie. At the rate we used to do those things the Wii will pay for itself in no time.

  4. "Mo" Money Says:

    I also purchased a Wii several month ago. It has been a good purchase. It is entertaining and you can get some exercise at the same time.

  5. Eden Says:

    I agree on Boom Blox – that is a must-have Wii game that a lot of people have missed.

    Overall, I’m not totally convinced on the health benefits of the Wii. I can really work up a sweat playing tennis, but still the majority of the games involve very little activity.

    It’s a fun system and no doubt it is very family oriented- I can’t imagine my parents sitting down to play an FPS on Xbox360, but they have fun bowling on the Wii. Perhaps a Wii Fit will provide more activity- if they weren’t stupidly hard to find I would buy one.

  6. That One Caveman Says:

    We got our Wii before we started down the ultra-frugal route but I definitely don’t regret it! It’s provided us great entertainment and more laughs than one could imagine (just try acting as a team in the homerun contest in Super Smash Brothers without busting up laughing).

  7. Lynnae Says:

    I’m thinking about getting a Wii for Christmas. I figure even if it’s not a huge workout, it will at least get the kids moving a little during the rainy season.

    I’m saving the money now. We’ll just have to see if I can find a Wii between the time I finish saving and Christmas.

  8. Sue Says:

    I was hesitant about the Wii, but I was fortunate enough to win one at work before Christmas. We’ve found that the games are tons of fun, and I don’t like traditional video games at all.

    We pre-ordered the Wii fit and find it gets our heart rate elevated, when we use it. It tracks your progress, and like any videogame you unlock more games the more you play. The cutest feature was that it reminded when my husband’s birthday was coming up!!!

    Another good game is Dance Dance Revolution! It really gets the heart going and has many levels to play. (and the music is all from when I was in highschool in the 1980′s!)

    Great fun all around!

  9. lint Says:

    All current video game consoles have wireless controllers. Also, I haven’t touched Wii Sports or Play since I bought my Wii. It is quite easy to play all those games without moving at all.

    As for the fit, I’d rather stick to my Pilates class and just play DDR at home for the cardio (available for the Wii).

    I consider video games, for the casual gamer, to be an okay splurge purchase. For $50 you can get a lot of enjoyment out of a game; especially for the multi-player games.

  10. ChristianPF Says:

    I want a Wii!! I played a friend of mines a few times – tennis is my fav… and I want one, maybe with the next stimulus check ;)

  11. FFB Says:

    I’ve been resisting the Wii but seeing the electronic drum portion of Rock Star may prove the end of my resistance some day soon!

  12. MMJ Says:

    My wife has been wanting one, which says alot. She is not a big video game fan. We will hold out for a little while, maybe I can load up on the Mypoints gift certificates.

  13. Zombie Money Says:

    No Wii for me but many of my friends have one ans several of them have actually bought it for their parents. Def a game system that covers many age levels.

  14. Autumn Says:

    Great post! I have been pining over a Wii for months now, but still haven’t made the plunge. I think it’s time! :-)

  15. NtJS Says:

    Mrs. !? Did you see this?

    These look awesome, but convincing the wife to get one will be the real challenge, that and allocating the funds…. Oh, well. We’re getting super-close to our HDTV goal tho!

  16. fun Says:

    Wii will work you up into a sweat. If you do the boxing, do the endurance/weight training test. I have played quite a bit, so if you ain’t sweating you ain’t working too hard. You will sweat. I bought it at Walmart for $250.00 so we got it for super cheap. We did have to buy the controls for it, but we have fun & liked setting up the Avatars. When I bought it a few months ago it was fun & glad to do it. It was well worth the money. My hubby & I like bowling. My hubby has a heart condition so he has to be careful & it’s just enough, so he doesn’t over-do it. My hubby is only 39 it’s a shame & it’s not by his doing as far as the cardiac issues are concerned.

    Thanks & I would recommend the Wii over the X-Box. My friend’s hubby has the X-Box & it’s broken. He rarely played it & he is steamed over this! She wanted to get the Wii when Comcast was offering it, but for some reason they could not offer the Wii because they were out of of it.

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