Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Twenty years ago, we owned a first-generation Nintendo game system. Originally purchased for Elder Daughter’s eighth birthday, it was, by today’s standards, a primitive affair. You had a cheap-ass plastic box into which you would shove a bulky game cartridge, and two clunky-looking hand controllers with which you would play games with blocky, jagged graphics and simple (yet amazingly catchy) music.

Needless to say, Elder Daughter used to have to elbow me out of the way to get to her New Toy.

We did not have a huge library of games on hand, but I became a Past Master at the ones we had. Super Mario Brothers. The Legend of Zelda. Marble Madness. Tetris.

It was a Time Sink on a par with, well, blogging.

Sadly, the old Nintendo system, after years of residing quietly in the basement, was disposed of in a garage sale. Too bad - it probably was a collector’s item. For Nintendo Nerds who like collecting crap, I suppose.

SWMBO had her share of heartbreak with that old Nintendo box. After all, while most women had to content themselves with being football widows or golf widows, she had to admit to her friends that she was a Nintendo Widow. How fucked up is that?

So you can imagine my surprise when the Missus requested that I score her a Nintendo Wii for her birthday. My SWMBO? Wanting to get a Video Game? What was next? The Earth falling off its axis? The Apocalypse?

I wasn’t sure she was serious at first, so I dragged my feet. Big mistake. She was indeed serious...and the damn things were as scarce as Heebs in Hamas. But finally, a full month to the day from the Birthday in Question, I managed to lay my hands on one.

Holy. Crap.

This thing is as far removed from its primitive 1987 ancestor as my laptop computer is from ENIAC.

It uses wireless control technology. You hold the controller and go through the motions of rolling a bowling ball, serving a tennis or ping-pong ball, taking a golf swing, taking a cut at a fastball, or punching your opponent in the face...and it happens on screen. Kinda like Air Guitar. You can actually work up a sweat playing some of the games.

And when you’re sick of playing games, you can pull weather or news reports right off the Internet...or go shopping.

Remind me to get out the video camera and film us as we play. Watch a few minutes of the Missus and me playing Video Tennis, whiffing our controllers around with our patented Air Guitar moves, and you just may piss yourself laughing.

So here we are, the New Generation Nintendo Nerds. Scary, ain’t it?

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