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Wilson Family: Still Loving Wii-Sports

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The most widely used gaming device in our household is the  Nintendo Wii. This was a £50 second hand purchase with two games; Wii Sports and Mario Kart.

It hides away in the TV unit with just the sensor bar perched on top of the TV betraying its existence, ashamed to be seen with the gaming powerhouses that are the Xbox One and PS4. When thinking about what to write about, the Wii never even came into my head.

But it's family gaming perfection. It is something all members of the family want to play and this is because when we play on the Wii, we are not playing a game, we are actually golfing, or bowling, or racing.

The Mother-in-law doesn’t need to learn that tapping the right shoulder button makes you crouch, or pushing the left stick up makes you look down. Just swing the controller like a club/bat/stick, or turn it like a steering wheel, and your 90% there.

These controls also work as a great leveller. Three generations of the family can play bowling and be quite close at the end even though 75% of them wouldn’t even know how to switch the Wii on.

It doesn’t matter that the graphics aren’t much better than the old Gamecube and the kids find the name funny, the Wii has created family legends. The time when Grandad did that shortcut on the 5th hole. When the brother-in-law said he would pay the wife £50 if she got a 7 – 10 split (she did but he never paid up).

Then who could forget the time Grandad lost to Child 2 in the tennis? All of these have gone down in family history, and they get relived at every family gathering. All of this from a console released 10 years ago.

Even before my wife and I decided it would be a great idea to have kids, the Wii had created memories that no other gaming device could match.

I will always remember a New Year’s Eve in Wales, when I got the world record on the trampoline as Yoshi in Sonic & Mario at the Olympics, and when my friend nearly passed out because he got a bit too competitive during the rowing in Wii Sports Resort.

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Andrew Robertson
Andy Robertson is the editor of AskAboutGames and has written for national press and broadcast about video games and families for over 15 years. He has just published the Taming Gaming book with its Family Video Game Database.