I held out for as long as I could. Up until this Christmas, no “DS’s”, Webkins, Toon-Towns or other computer-based games had made it into our family routine. My stepson Ryan brought over the occasional XBox video game, but it always went back to his mom’s house when he did. And as someone who literally was shamed out of playing Donkey Kong in the early 80’s, I was quite happy with this situation.
Then came Wii.
My husband, Dave, has been wanting to get it for a long time, “for fitness,” he’d claim. He hasn‘t been able to play basketball at the gym since his high school basketball days finally caught up with his ankles. He still wanted to work out, but Jillian Michaels‘ “Shred It“ videos weren‘t really his style. He needed a game to play; something to compete in.
This all sounded good and well-intended. After all, Dave has type 2 diabetes and should exercise regularly to keep his blood sugar under control. But I’ve also seen Dave lose all track of time watching Ryan play XBox, butt firmly rooted in couch. So instead of a robust, healthy family gathering around the Wii, I pictured the more likely scenario of Dave and the kids staring glassy eyed at the TV for hours trying to steer some Avatar-like creature back to its home planet. With Sponge Bob already a too frequent presence in our house, who needed that?
For a long time the Wii’s $200 price tag kept Dave’s argument (and my playing the role of party-pooper) at bay. Then, Grandma and Grandpa sent our family a check for $500 to buy Christmas presents. So I made Dave a deal. As long as HE was the one who would play endless hours of Wii games with the kids (I didn‘t need some five year old out-Wii-ing me after my Donkey Kong trauma), we could get it.
So the Wii came home. Within about ten minutes (thanks to Ryan) Dave and the kids were “bowling” and having an absolute ball. Then there was golf and baseball and tennis. All three kids were literally jumping up and down, happy for themselves and for each other with each “point” they scored. Instead of sitting around eating candy and cookies during Christmas vacation, they were playing Wii.