My colleague Martin Weller has bought a Wii — for research purposes, naturally.
We bought a Nintendo Wii last weekend. I’ve not been in to games that much before – my gaming days ended around the time of Doom/Duke Nuke ’em (now those were some games). My main problem with games is that they just take so much time to get any return on. I really don’t have 50 hours to give over to battling aliens, and if I did then I experience a form of leisure angst – there are those unread volumes of Proust on my bookshelf that I really should get around to, or there is a five mile run I need to do today, or some craft activity I should be sharing with my daughter.
I am very much in the target audience for the Wii then – a game console for people who don’t usually buy game consoles. It’s mildly depressing to realise how well targeted you are, because the Wii is exactly right for me! You can pick it up and play immediately, the games can be much shorter and it doesn’t require a big commitment to get any return from.
It’s a big hit with the family too – my daughter has repeatedly knocked me out in boxing. Now I would be remiss in my academic duty if I didn’t mention affordances here. The Wii is a model of affordance for interaction – watching my daughter struggle with a PS2 controller compared with the ease with which she took to the Wii could be a case study in interface and object design. I should probably try and find some educational uses for it, but that isn’t what it’s for – its affordance is fun.