Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ahh... the video game. I'm old enough to remember Atari and Pong, and then the way more advanced Asteriods, Frogger and Pac Man - and let's not forget the Gloria Steinem version, Ms. Pac Man. And now... along comes the Wii. We thought we were teaching our son this great lesson in that whatever allowance he saved from January until his birthday (last week) we would match it and buy a Wii. He saved about $100; we matched it 2-1, and now the Wii takes up a prominent place near the big screen TV.

We try to be good parents - in that we limit our kids to 1/2 hour a day on the Wii - which would sometimes become more like an hour if they behaved extra well, or if friends were over. And it didn't bother me so much when they were playing tennis, bowling, or boxing because at least they were moving around. Now I know those don't take a lot of physical activity, but at least you're standing and moving your arms to play those. And now we've moved on to Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Smash Bros. Brawl. And we've gone back in time - almost counter to what I thought the Wii was supposed to accomplish. For those games, the player is back to sitting on the couch, a controller in each hand, with non-stop fingers moving on both remotes.

But... is there anything really wrong with that? We all grew up with some influence our parents thought bad for us - be it Atari, the Walkman, or Madonna. And we are came out okay in the end. So if my kids get plenty of time outside to balance the 1/2 hr. to hour they spend playing Wii and if they do everything they are expected to do (chores, get dressed, brush teeth) before turning it on, I'm pretty confident they will turn out okay too.

And I'm really looking forward to Santa bringing me the Wii fit for Christmas.

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