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May 15, 2008

Wii Virgin No More

Okay, yeah, this blog is primarily about adventure games, interactive fiction, and indie game development, almost exclusively from a Mac/PC desktop perspective. I've never been a console gamer myself, unless you go back to my Atari 2600 days. I already spend too much time in front of my computer, and I've always felt that if I bought a console then either (a) I would spend even more time not doing important things, or (b) it would just end up collecting dust in the TV cabinet.

I don't even know very many people who have consoles (or most haven't told me). I've yet to even see an Xbox or Playstation 2/3 in person. And the only time I've ever seen a Wii was at an indie games conference last October, when there was a brief Wii Tennis tournament projected on a screen. All I remember thinking was that it looked really well done.

Now, I am here to report, that I am a Wii virgin no more.

We had our weekly softball game last night, and as usual one of the team members had people over after the game for fun and libations. Usually I pass, but the stage had been set for a night of Guitar Hero III (at least I think it was III, I can't be sure since I've never really paid attention to the brand), so I felt this was at last my opportunity to see what all of the fuss was about.

I can't remember having that much fun in quite a while.

I'm sure a lot has been written on Guitar Hero and other similar games, so I won't go into it much. But from a game designer's standpoint I was just struck at how brilliant the game is. Such a simple concept, but you have to admire their ability to create a game that ties together so many good things: people, games, and rock. Throw in some adult beverages (or not) and you have yourself a pretty wild time.

In a way, it almost kind of reminds me of the movie Top Gun. Pure cheese, of course, but it was a clever combination of ingredients that would attract all different kinds of people, since it had a little something for just about everybody -- Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, other assorted beautiful people, and plenty of motorcycles, bare-chested beach volleyball, fighter jets, explosions, sex, "romance", and melodrama. It's the kind of movie that manages to appeal to a broad range of men and women, and there's this inescapable attraction to it, no matter how bad you tell yourself it really is. Regardless of the quality, the filmmakers picked the right set of ingredients and hooked the public.

So too with Guitar Hero, it seems. The right set of ingredients to get people playing video games with fake musical instruments and fun tunes. I'm already looking foward to next week's game. I hear there's also a softball game around that time, too.

2 comments:

gnome said...

Aha! So, that's how the evil Nintendian corporate machine turns pure-hearted starry-eyed indie adventurers into raving console fanboys.

(btw, enjoy my wii quite a bit, but let's not shout about it...)

Ruber Eaglenest said...

Well soon we will have wii ware, so indie topics would fit ok in the Wii scheme.

The interesting thing about Wii is the new possibilities to interaction.

Imagine something like Vespers 3D but using the wiimote and the nunchuck, each assigned to each hand: I extend my hand, hold B and I take object. It is a key! Good, let's use it, I stay in front of the door, I extend my hand, insert the key, turn, and eureka! I get the door open.

However I can't imagine an "adventure use" to the Wii Balance Board ;)