As I sit here and type, my two boys are in their 11th consecutive hour of playing MarioKart on that highly addictive, do-anything game system, Wii. We fazed into the 2000s by acquiring a Wii system just this past Christmas. We delayed our introduction to the land of Wii for fear it would be all my children would want to do with their time…and we couldn’t have been more correct. Ever since we added this piece of machinery to our entertainment options, my kids have tunnel vision. All they see is the little green light on the Wii machine and the little blue light on the Wii remotes. Anything outside that periphery is a lost cause these days.
Im not too sure if getting the Wii was a good thing or a bad thing. Since it’s the “new” toy in the house, we have been fairly relaxed with rules for the Wii. As a matter of fact, currently we only have two: No Wii in the morning before school and no Wii before bed. Sounds do-able right? Even with the consistent enforcement of these rules, every morning the kids wake up and the first thing that comes flying out of their little puckered mouths is, “Can we play the Wii?” And I then have to be the evil mom and tell them “no” and remind them of the rules we set. Then a huge fight ensues and everyone falls into the poopy mood pit. You wouldn’t believe the fit these sweet little boys can throw when told they can’t play the Wii: their faces turn green, their eyes roll back in their heads, they begin to convulse and unidentifiable words come out of their mouths. It’s like watching an exorcism.
To say there aren’t any positives about the Wii isn’t really fair. The number one positive is its ability to babysit my kids. If I’m trying to be productive and I need the kids out of my hair, I turn to the Wii for assistance. I know that when I push that “on” button, the kids will be occupied for however long I need. As a matter of fact, I’m convinced that if I were to walk out the door, go to the grocery store and shop for an hour or so, I’d walk back into my house and my kids would have never noticed I was gone. Nope, they’d still be sitting on the couch in front of the TV playing MarioKart, faces glazed over, drool oozing out of the side of their mouths, Wii remotes glued to their palms. They also say that video games help to sharpen kids’ hand-eye coordination, yada, yada, but I think that is a claim made by the game system companies so parents will believe they are doing a good thing when purchasing their product.
I still haven’t made a clear, impartial assessment of the Wii. Even after two months, the “newness” hasn’t worn off and the desire to be surgically attached to MarioKart still strongly exists. Currently I wish I could just throw the darn thing out of the window most of the time. But I’m told that after a while, the Wii gets “old” and the kids won’t play it as much. So, I’m just holding my breath, waiting for the day when I am no longer dreaming of Yoshi and Bowser or unconsciously humming the tune that plays when creating your “Mii” character. I am anxiously waiting for the day when I can once again lure my kids out of the house without a fight, or have a conversation with them about something other than Rainbow Road.