Thirty some years ago (I choke at that thought) I played my first home video game. We didn’t have one in our house. With six kids, the last thing my parents would spend their dollars on would be a video game. My friend had one though. (He had everything!) We spent hours at his house playing “PONG”.
For those of you that don’t remember, “PONG” is one of the first home video arcade games, in black and white no less, two dimensional and is a video version of Ping Pong, created by Atari. Check out the picture of the original box. No interaction, simply pushing the buttons or turning the knobs to block the “ball” or bounce it back to your opponent.
Fast forward to 2009. Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. My husband bought the family (himself, mainly) the Wii. WOW!!!!! WII is Nintendo’s three dimensional home video game system that detects movement with wireless, handheld controllers. Talk about an advancement. The box, compared to the Atari Pong, is so small I didn’t even see it next to our TV.
Everything is so realistic. I woke up this morning sore in places I haven’t felt in years. We spent the day bowling, golfing, and playing baseball. The best part was, the whole family played; so did our guests. Everyone that came in got to create their own character, a Mii, and start playing. My niece, at 25, was so excited with the bowling. Her comment was, “I suck at real bowling! This is a great tool for building one’s self esteem.” She had the highest bowling score she’s ever had. (Maybe self esteem building should be Nintendo’s new sales pitch.)
A cool feature that I love is the way Nintendo created the team players and the crowds. Bowling is created in the likeness of a real bowling alley. There are bowlers on either side and the crowd sits behind you and cheers or boos, with comments like, “Good spare” and “Turkey” when you throw three strikes in a row. Baseball includes the characters you’ve created on your own system and apparently the crowd does the wave. What I love about the golf game is that it highlights the wind speed and you can adjust your stance accordingly. I bet Tiger Woods could certainly improve his game (if that’s even possible).
There are way too many features to get into in this blog. It’s amazing how advanced the games have become. Close your eyes and imagine where they will be in another 30+ years! Whew!!!!