Thursday, May 15, 2008

Do Wii Have A Problem?

As far as I can tell, there are two distinct kinds of games for the Nintendo Wii. There are games that require physical movement for primary play (Wii Sports, Boom Blox) and those that are the more traditional fare (Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Mario Galaxy). Sure, some of the traditional games have some motion aspect to them, but they are usually tacked on similar to PlayStation 3 games.

Something I am noticing from myself, particularly playing a lot of Boom Blox this week, is that I don't have the endurance to play the more physical games for very long (a couple hours at most). This may actually be a good thing, but I'm not used to it. My arm is actually a little sore from whipping the Wiimote around this week. My wrist sounds like a cement mixer. Now, it should be noted that I work on a computer all day at work, then come home and use the computer some more, so it's not like I'm giving my body a break.

However, the physical games actually put limits on my game time. I can't pull marathon sessions of these games. I've played games for six, eight, even ten hours in a day before, but that will never happen with these physical Wii games. Is this a problem or a good thing?

I tend to feel that games should allow you to play as much or as little as you one. Adults could, and should, be expected to make decisions such as "how much time will I spend playing games today" and not have a game impede them. At the same time, the game isn't really the impediment - it's the player's body. So I could go either way on this. Yeah, I know, not a good answer. That's why this post is filed under ramblings.

What do you think? Do any of you run into physically tiring from playing some of these games?


  1. Definitely! After playing Wii Sports for a few days (only an hour at a time) I had to take a break from the Wii for a about a week or so. My shoulder was sore like mad. Strange because I'm an active youth in my 20's. However the pain I was experiencing did not feel like the "good" pain you experience after working out. It felt like I strained my rotator cup. It has happened to me before by lifting too heavy a weight too soon, but it was the opposite shoulder that it happened to, so this wasn't an old injuring acting up.

    To answer your question; I would enjoy playing the more active games longer but it's the strain they put on the joints and muscles that really prohibit this. Perhaps I'm performing the actions wrong or I'm over exerting myself when I shouldn't.

    Now that I reflect on my Wii sessions, it consistently entails playing Wii Sports or bowling or some other active game for about 45 minutes then popping in Mario Kart or some other non-active game and playing it for a few hours. Combination of my laziness to play actively for long periods and my unwillingness to have a sore arm the next day.

  2. I think it depends. On one end of the spectrum, I lack the physical endurance to complete the Boom Blox level where you have to take out the rampaging skeleton hoards with baseballs. On the other end, Resident Evil 4 on the Wii was the most comfortable experience playing a console game I've ever had. I could stretch, put a hand behind my head etc without breaking stride. In between there's Twilight Princess's wrist cracking spin-slash and the fun exhaustion of finally beating your roommate in Wii Tennis.

    I think there's really a lot to think about on this topic. Especially with the Wii being a more 'family friendly' platform. If you want to bring young and old people together, how many older people with arthritis do you have playtesting?

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