Who Wii?

We got a Wii. I never thought wii would come to this. We did not previously own any type of video game system. Another relative bought my kids Gameboys - not at my request or suggestion. If it was up to me, they would only be playing educational CD-ROM games on the computer. But for the last couple of years, all I've heard from my oldest is that wii should get a Wii. ALL his friends have a Wii. Really?! Wii don't believe that, do wii? But, nevertheless, I started to think that maybe Wii was different. Playing Wii involved movement and a Wii system would allow us to play games together, instead of the kids sitting around seperately hunched over their little GameBoys. Orangeboy, in particular, spent too much time hunched over his Gameboy in his room - in the car - in his doctor's waiting room. I know, mostly that was my fault, but in my defense: 1) I didn't buy it for him, like I said; 2) to take it away was like punishing him (sometimes he would even cry); and 3) it was so convenient for keeping him busy and quiet!

So I considered that wii might actually benefit from getting a Wii system. (I know, you're sick of the Wii entendre.) I actually found a good sale price on a system a couple of months before Christmas and bought it and hid it in the attic. (Don't tell the kids, they still sort of want to believe in Santa and pretend he brought it.) And so, to make a long story shorter, wii have a Wii. (Last one, I promise.)

Orangeboy has been spending more time in the same room with the family playing Wii. And since Wii is rather pricey, it's about all we got for Christmas and so we have been playing a lot of Wii. (See I told you that was the last one.) However, I was also hoping that maybe playing the active Wii sports would help Orangeboy with his coordination and confidence. He is active, but usually in a hyper, uncoordinated way. Attempts to teach him sports usually degenerate into frustrated tears and tantrums. He does not like to risk injury, does not like getting hit with a ball - even a beach ball, and he does not like trying to learn how to be a gracious loser. Learning to catch, bat, kick, run bases without getting tagged, etc are not activities that he has enjoyed. He is also rather lightweight (45 lbs at age 9) and this tends to make competitive sports even less appealing. So Wii sports could theorhetically allow him to work on improving coordination and skill without getting hurt or having to physically compete again heavier, quicker foes.

Well, not to be. Amazingly, he has managed to get strikes in bowling using his own special, bent-arm fling. It doesn't look like a real bowling throw and sometimes he manages to drop the virtual ball behind him. (The Wii does that if you let go of the trigger too soon.) But despite dropping the ball and just flipping his little arm up there in this wild looking flail, he sometimes manages strikes and does fairly well over all. Likewise with Wii boxing; he just flails away in the direction of the screen and manages not to get knocked out by his opponent every time. He's not gotten the golf down yet because it takes more finesse. He doesn't like baseball either, because even though he doesn't have to worry about getting hit or having a proper stance, it does require pretty good timing.

I'm afraid he is not improving his skills much and in fact, may find real sports even more frustrating once he reaches pro-bowler level on the Wii and then still can't manage to get the ball all the way down the lane in a real alley. On the other hand, if all his friends do have Wii, he may have a new subject of interest to talk about and this could help him with social success.


  1. We got a Wii for Christmas, too. It was a Vewii Mewii Christmas. (Sorry, couldn't help myself.) I love Wii bowling. We went for real bowling last week and I sucked as usual, but I can beat Hubby on the Wii. :D

    I suspect Orangeboy would be more challenged by the games in Wii Fit, and would make more progress with it.

  2. We've had a Wii for a few years because Sayer's older brother HAD to have it for Channukah. Sayer does like to play bowling and golf, but he really likes Mario Cart since he gets to see roller coasters. I'm never actually sure but I THINK he knows that he controls the cart with the controller. At any rate, he doesn't get frustrated when Mario crashes.

    This year we got Guitar Hero and Sayer will sit a bit and watch his brother. That REALLY takes coordination and I can't do anything but the singing. In fact, if Jacob starts of get pissy (he's 15) I just threaten to sing Band on the Run again. Really loud. Instant attitude change.

  3. Quirky Mom: He tried Wii Fit today. He didn't register on the BMI scale and the trainer told him he was "apparently too weak for this exercise" on the first thing he tried. His Fit age was 39 and he needs to gain at least 7 pounds to reach a healthy weight. He really has his work cut out for him.
    But he did do well on the ski jumping.

  4. Carol: That's great - Wii singing as discipline. My kids freeze in place if I start dancing! Orangeboy likes the Sonic games. It's too spastic for my taste, but that's probably why he likes it.

  5. My 3yo's Wii Fit age was 28, so I know what you mean. The ski jump is one of my favorites. :)

  6. Anonymous14/1/09

    We got a Wii for Christmas too! My Aspie is the kind who just gets sucked into video gaming so we've never had any of the boxes or even handhelds. Classmates have made comments about how poor we must be because my kids don't even have a Gameboy.

    Frankly, it's hard enough to keep all three of them focused on this world without giving them an entry into another! (We are so never allowing WoW. Ever.)

    But the Wii, esp. the sports, has created a friendly competition, and even mom and dad are playing now! So it's been a good thing for us. AND gives us something to discuss with friends--the social acceptance IS important!


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