After a couple of years of petitioning by my son, we finally decided to get him (the family, actually) a Nintendo Wii for his birthday.
This decision was not made lightly, or without considerable trepidation. Arthur has been a big fan of computer games for several years and he’s gotten really good at them. It amazes me what patience he’s shown in sticking with it in the face of adversity and figuring out how to make it to the goal. (If he had this kind of perseverance when it comes to writing or math, we’d be all set!) And he’s only ever used the keyboard, because when he was little his hands were too small to effectively use my old game pad. I’m continually amazed how well he can control game play just with his fingers on the keys! And at how he figures out how to do things I didn’t even know were possible in a game.
We have a time limit on how long he’s allowed to play each day, and only after he’s completed other things he needs to work on. But the idea of Arthur being able to play games on the television was a little scary for Stephanie and myself, considering the addiction factor. But the conditioned time limit thing helps. So far it’s going well.
My other concern now is my own addiction factor. There are a lot of cool games for the Wii! I’ve checked out a Game Store in Batavia that sells used games that I would enjoy (Metroid Prime, Zelda). The thing about the Wii is that it is pretty cool for the entire family. Stephanie and Fiona and I have also played some of the sports games and the fact that you get to move around and use your body is pretty neat! And with all the controller attachments and exercise stuff you can get for it, I guess the Wii does have it’s merits over older conventional game systems.
But the biggest plus for me about the Wii is that it does more than just play games. The Netflix streaming feature is the best thing since sliced bread! We used to subscribe to Netflix a few years ago, but quit because we didn’t use it enough. But now that we can use the Wii to watch Television shows and movies on the TV, I’m in bliss! And it’s only 9 bucks a month! Right now we just have the basic cable for local stations, but heck, if I get a digital antennae who needs cable? We rarely watch live TV (except Fringe, of course, and a handful of other shows). I don’t mind waiting a couple of months for shows and films to come out on Netflix. Right now there’s more than I’d ever have time to watch! (We’ve all really been enjoying Avatar: The Last Airbender TV series.)
My only concern now is that my watching and playing on the Wii will take away from reading and writing and making art. But, I ‘ll have to learn to set some limits on myself as well as the kids. Everything in moderation, eh? We’ll certainly never get bored!