I’m accustomed to a game having to win me over. It should convince me it’s fun, and if I see a way to cut a corner here or there, by all means I’ll take it. Sure I’m supposed to talk to those town folk to further immerse myself in this RPG, or I’m supposed to call out that word in this party game, but if I don’t explicitly have to, then I just won’t do it. If the designers were good enough, they’d force me to have fun.
This is at least how I felt before owning a Wii. I have become acutely aware of how my willingness to stand up and have fun affects how enjoyable many Wii titles are. Last year, I’d have refused to participate the way a game wanted me to. If a game wants me to have fun then it should make me have fun without my direct participation.
Indeed, many Wii gamers’ still follow this ideal. From watching Pat swing Link’s sword by slightly spasming his wrist in a motion reminiscent of humming birds to seeing my roommate golf from a sitting position, I’ve seen many people attempt to circumvent the motion part of motion control. But here’s the kicker — I stand when I play.
It could be that I’ve bought into Nintendo’s vision, but for the first time I’ve started taking an active role in having fun. Instead of making the slightest possible motions needed, I get carried away and swing my arm as if I were really holding a sword or golf club. Finally, I’ve found games where putting in the extra effort makes all the difference.
The problem is that most Wii games allow people with my old mindset to continue playing with minimum effort. Of course, if this isn’t done gamers will bitch and moan about how they don’t want their video games to be physically difficult. But it also means I am very likely to revert to my old ways, which means I’ll have less fun with my Wii games (even though it’ll be my own fault), buy fewer releases, and Nintendo will ultimately go bankrupt. It was fun while it lasted.