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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

question of the weekend: What are some really fun Wii games?

I just bought a Nintendo Wii game console [Amazon U.S.] [Amazon U.K.] — my first game console ever, in fact. (Well, we had the first Nintendo console when I was a teenager, but that was eons ago.) I couldn’t resist, because after my first opportunities to play with a Wii over the holidays, I was hooked.

The day after Christmas, I was at my brother Ray’s place. He’s always been a game nut, and now he’s got two little kids who need to constantly amused, so Santa brought everyone a Wii for Christmas. It was a total blast playing with my niece and nephew — who are six and half and three and a half. I was really impressed with how it really was possible to play with very small children and not have to pull back or downgrade your play in order to give the kids a chance to win: the games just sort of even out differences in age and capability so that everyone can have fun. It was pretty awesome seeing my munchkin of a nephew knock out his six-foot-plus father in the boxing game. I was also pretty astonished how much of a workout some of the sports games were: I broke a sweat with the boxing game. Now, I’m not in the best shape I’ve even been in, but I’m not in terrible shape, either, so it was hugely surprising to discover that a video game could feel a little like a workout.
Of course, I’d seen the TV ads for the Wii Fit Plus with Balance Board [Amazon U.S.] [Amazon U.K.] — which I also just bought — so I knew that Nintendo certainly believes that a video game can be a workout. And I had the chance to try a Balance Board at my friend Lori’s Wii party last Saturday. This was even more fun. Here was a group of all adults (no kids) but of a wide range in age and physical capabilities, and everyone had a great time. My friend Bonnie’s (bronxbee in comments here) elderly Aunt May, who was all “Oh, I don’t know how to use these things,” totally kicked our asses in bowling.

Really, the Wii is genius in all ways. It’s brilliantly social, allowing groups of people to really play with one another. It’s wonderfully active, getting you off the sofa and moving around a bit. (Okay, sure, it’s not as good as going out for a five-mile run, but it’s a helluva lot better than vegging out on the couch.) It truly is an innovative bit of evolution for electronic entertainment. And as such, even though it’s not movies or TV (though there are some movie-related games), I think I need to write more about the Wii. So I figure a regular weekly post — perhaps a Wii of the Weekend — is in order.

So help me get started: What are some really fun Wii games?

In addition to the sports games that come with the console and the Balance Board, I’ve also already bought:

Wii Sports Resort [Amazon U.S.] [Amazon U.K.]
EA Sports Active Personal Trainer [Amazon U.S.] [Amazon U.K.]
Super Mario Bros. Wii [Amazon U.S.] [Amazon U.K.]
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga [Amazon U.S.] [Amazon U.K.]
Star Wars: The Clone Wars Lightsaber Duels [Amazon U.S.] [Amazon U.K.]

What else should I be playing, or would you like to hear me write about?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD/QOTW, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTW sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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