Nintend-initis & Other Injur-wiis: The Wii: Friend or Foe?

Wii Safety is no laughing matter...unless you aren't the one getting hurt - then it's pretty damn funny.

We finally broke down and bought our kids a Wii for Christmas.  We heard really good things about it and thought it would help get us through the long cold New England Winter by combining exercise and family fun time.  It really is a great concept in that we can stay in, have some fun, and spend quality time together.  Little did I know this simple little entertainment device would turn normal, mild-mannered children and adults into uber-competitive, hyperactive Wii monsters.

Nintendo Wii:  The You'll-Shoot-Your-Eye-Out of Our Kids' Generation.

We let the kids play in the beginning.  We found that the camaraderie they showed from the sheer joy of getting to play was amazing.  They could disagree on everything all day long and fight over the most ridiculous things, but the moment we say that they can go play the Wii, they are loving, adoring brothers who are laughing and hugging all the way to the gameroom.  They agree on  what to play, and the laughing continues - everyone has a ball..but not for long.  Inevitably someone gets mad at someone for say, jumping off of a cliff into lava just for fun, not pulling their weight to beat a level, or wanting a different colored- controller than the one they have.  Soon, someone ends up getting hit in the ear, falling off the couch, or getting tangled in the cord.  The wii-diculous behavior indicates it's time to turn it off.  It never fails, someone ends up crying when I tell them to shut it down.  Once I even threatened to pack it up and give it to the Salvation Army because clearly children who cry over video games should have a pacifier and stacking blocks instead of a high tech big boy video game console.  That dried their tears pretty quickly.

One night Hubs and I decided to play.  We chose Bowling and even had the Bowling Ball to go with it.  We were laughing and feeling giddy about being kids again and rediscovering our joy for video games after hanging up our Atari controls so many years ago.

I watched Hubs take his first attempt.  But wait, what's he doing? He got in an actual Bowling stance - feet together, eyes on the pins.  He had this look on his face like this was a million dollar game.  I know that look - the competitor was rearing its ugly head.  This was no joke.  Boom! He bowls a strike with a fling of his wrist and a kick of his leg.  I feel my blood pressure rise and I get up and yell..."OHHH IT IS ON BUDDY.."

What I thought would just be a simple game of Wii Bowling turned out to be a cut throat best-out-of-seven game marathon.  When the Bowling Ball flew out of my sweaty hand, just missing the precious flat screen TV, and I felt like I had tendinitis in my wrist, I knew it was time to be the more mature person and stop the game.  Hubs claimed the win, but to this day, his win is tainted with an asterisk*. 

We reconvened the next day with the kids as we needed to get our fix again.  This time we chose Just Dance.  A totally innocent non-competitive game that would serve as a good bit of exercise for all of us on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  By the end of the first song, Rocketeer, I was gasping for breath, heart pounding out of my chest and in last place.  I just couldn't let that happen again.  After all, I'm the only female in this household - it would be shameful to finish last in a dance competition.  I give a fierce performance of Party Rock Anthem leaving it all on the floor of the game room.  I all but curtsy at the end of my once in a lifetime performance - and I snag the highscore, beating all of my children and husband for the win.  As I started jumping around like an idiot, I wondered why the rush of beating my own family was turning me into a zomb-wii.  It was time to just walk away.  The final straw for me was when I tried so hard to get the high score on Wii-Hula that I actually threw my back out for days.  It was time to act my age and stop trying to relive my non-athletic childhood days.

Wii-Dance Overachiever. 

I have a love/hate relationship with the Wii.  On one hand it serves as a great babysitter a few hours a week to occupy the kids long enough for me to get dinner made, or finish cleaning, or even balance the checkbook.  On the flip side, it almost always ends in whining, injuries, complaints and some sort of blunt force trauma.  The worst being when Eldest gave Middler a John McEnroe-like backhand smack to the side of the head during a heated game of Wii Tennis causing his ear to bleed.  The hand controls are called Nunchuks for a reason - they can be deadly weapons if not used properly.

All in all, it's a fun pastime and can provide hours of fun time as long as someone in the room is mature enough to make necessary decisions and judgement calls to ensure a healthy playing environment.  Handcramps, tennis elbow, trigger finger and thumb calluses are just a few of the injur-wiis you risk along the way.  If you do get a Wii, be sure to read the upteen pages of warnings, keep calm and stay arms length when playing.  Always wii-member to wear your wriststrap -because  it's all fun and games until someone breaks the TV.

Play on Player!


  1. I have the same love-hate with our Wii! I believe I had a bad case of tennis elbow for a solid week when we first got ours. Such a cute story!

  2. Ha! Love it!! Just Dance turns my 9 year old into a monster! :)

  3. This is hilarious! We preface our Wii sessions with "If I hear any screaming, whining, crying, or name calling, it gets turned off!" The Man gets so into it, he put a hole in our light fixture on the ceiling fan while playing the 3 year old. I can so relate!

  4. I ended up opting for the xbox 360 Kinect for Christmas this year for my kids. It was more expensive than the wii, but I got a good deal on it. I love that there aren't any controllers, because I'm pretty sure I'D be one of those people throwing it through the tv screen accidentally.

    I'm pretty sure that Just Dance was developed by some teenager who wanted to kill his parents. One round of "Jump On It" and I was ready to pass out. Of course, I couldn't let the kids know that though. They didn't think I could do it at all. ;-)

  5. We just got the Xbox Kinect and we have some serious competitions too. Fun!

  6. I have to laugh because this was us last year. We had just moved to New England and thought it would help keep the kids active in the hellish winter we had. It worked. That's for sure! Thankfully the excitement has worn off. Now they are obsessed with creating new characters. They will spend hours just making and deleting the little wii people.

    1. OMG my kids have made so many miis and they laugh so hard making them! Did you know there is a place where all of the miis can mingle..and they can have a parade too..? It's in the manual. Too funny.

  7. I hate video games. I had one console growing up, the Sega Saturn, and played it maybe 5 times. Give me the wild outdoors. Bub and I have had run-in's with the Wii before, mainly the WiiSports at a friends house, and Just Dance 3 at my family's house. After 4 hours of Just Dance with my 13 & 14 year old brother and sister, and continually getting the low score, I caved. We traded in Bub's DS for a Wii. We got Just Dance Country. I figure it's a great workout, a lot of fun, and I get to beat my husband at a video game, who's been playing most of his adolesent and up to present adult life.

  8. We just got a Wii for Christmas too and I about died playing the Just Dance for kids. My boys always want to play MarioKart but only with my husband because I always come in last. My 6 yr old does good with the remote but the 4 yr old struggles and gets frustrated, so we just give the wheel-with no controller in it and my husband plays with the controller. He thinks he is playing and is satisfied with that. Best quote from 4 yr old when the hubs had to work late and I had to play with them, he puts his hand on my shoulder and looks into my eyes and says "Do you think you got it this time, Mommy?" then when we come in last, "It's okay Mommy, you'll get better. You just need to practice more." as he pats my leg.


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