Now some people might say that at 33 I am a little old for computer games. They can go fuck themselves. Alternatively they might like to review their ageist stereotpyical views on what is and is not a fit source of entertainment for the modern adult.
Emma and I bought a Wii about five or six months ago. For those of you still trying to work out how to switch on your Acorn Electron let me explain that the Wii is unlike any of it's predecessors in the gaming market. That is because rather than sitting motionless and getting sore thumbs from some joypad/joystick contraption in an effort to control the game, the Wii demands that you get a bit more active. If you are playing tennis you swing the remote like you would swing a tennis racket. If it's golf you swing it like you would swing a golf club. If it is swinging, you just swing. I haven't got that game yet.
What I do have is an unhealthy addiction to this new, fandangled piece of kit. On your average Saturday morning I can be found in front of the television in a state of rigid concentration, convinced that I am in fact Tiger Woods. It is rare for Tiger Woods to finish outside the top 100 in tournaments that even I had not heard of in the pre-Wii days, yet this does not deter me from my mission. Nor in fact does inexplicably missing a put from less than a metre away because the console has decided that it doesn't like you. Or because the grass on the greens at New England is a little longer than that at St.Andrews so that the ball is more likely to stick and you have to therefore hit it a little harder. But then if you hit it harder it bounces out of the hole like a space hopper launched at a pot-hole from 500 metres.
All very frustrating so I turned to Wii darts. You have shrewdly guessed what is coming next, which is that you use the Wii remote in a throwing motion not dissimilar to that applied to throwing a dart. The main difference appears to be that normally your average dart thrower can be relied upon to release said dart at some point. The Wii dart player can expect to effect four or five dart-throwing motions before the flighty fettler finally agrees to part company with your dart players hand. Timing is everything, which is perhaps why I lost a best of 21 legs match by a score of 11-0, that after losing a best of five-set match by only 3 sets to 2. To suggest that PDC Darts on the Wii is temperemental is a little like suggesting that Justin Lee Collins is annoying. It's kind of a given.
And so to the most befuddling thing about Wii games. They hurt. And yet I play on regardless. Emma is a few degrees warmer than me in the brain department it seems, because she has refrained from participating in games where pulled muscles are the norm such as Wii boxing, whereas I continue regardless. Over seven rounds against such mighty Wii animated opponents as Kevin, Keith and Simon, I managed to all but lose the use of my right arm entirely. The refusal to lie down and die of Kevin and company leads to a breathless and seemingly endless frenzy of right jabs aimed at the general direction of the television set. And all of this performed in the centre of my living room with the passing world able to access a full and unrestricted view of my bizarre antics. It reminds me of when the two girls who live opposite my mother used to dance in the top bedroom window. But we won't go into that.
Sooner or later I will become the greatest Wii golfer/tennis player/boxer/dart player/Asterix at the Olympics player but at what cost? Any more of this manic Wii-ing and I will be admitted to the emergency room before you can say 'Communication with the Wii remote has been suspended, press any button when connection is re-established'.
That means you need to charge the batteries, by the way.
11 February 2009