for Xbox and
Get up and play!
Real-life teen critiques new
generation of active video games
By Nate Fifield
SOME THINGS IN life are worth waiting for.
My brother, three sisters and I all saved our
money this summer to buy a Nintendo Wii
together. Today it finally arrived. After setting
it up, which took no more than 10 minutes, I
challenged my friend Andrew to a game of
bowling. He’s an experienced video gamer, so
he thought he’d beat me with no problem.
Lucky for me, the Wii is not a traditional
I jumped up from the sofa and grabbed
the wireless Wii remote, nicknamed the Wii-mote. I swung it forward and carefully released
the trigger, hoping for a strike. I had to settle
for a spare, but I knew I would get better after
a couple of rounds and that Andrew’s experience wouldn’t help him in this game.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the Xbox and
PlayStation as well as classic Nintendo games
such as Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong.
Until now, I’ve been especially partial to first-person combat games, such as the Halo series
and Splinter Cell. But I think the Nintendo
Wii and other systems that physically involve
players are the future of video games. It’s a
blast to actually be in a video game as opposed
to just pressing buttons.
To play these games, you have to leave the
comfort of the couch and physically and
mentally become a bowler or a player in one
of Nintendo’s other sports games—golf, ten-
nis, boxing and baseball. They all require
players to physically move to control the players in the game, called Miis.
How much physical interaction
do these games offer? My dad worked
up a sweat after 15 rounds of boxing
and said he had to quit because his
arms were sore.
According to Shigeru Miyamoto,
Nintendo’s star video-game designer,
who created enduring characters
such as Mario and Donkey Kong,
the Wii is designed to break down
the difference between hard-core
gamers and casual gamers by looking at everyone as just gamers.
“I hope that in 10 years people will look
back and see both the Wii and Nintendo DS
[a handheld system] as devices that helped
redefine what a video game is—if you can
even call it a video game,” Miyamoto recently
told Time magazine.
My favorite Wii games include Excite
Truck, a racing game in which you turn the
Wii-mote back and forth as you race a computer or a friend, and Wii Play, which comes
with an extra Wii-mote and games such as
Shooting Range, Billiards, Fishing and others.
My younger sisters can’t wait to try Cars:
Mater National, a game based on the animated movie Cars.
THE NINTENDO WII isn’t the only system featuring active games. Cool, active
games have been released for Xbox and
One great one is the Guitar Hero
series, in which gamers play a model
guitar that connects wirelessly to the
system. The latest in the series, Guitar
Hero III, can be played on the Xbox 360
or the PlayStation game consoles, as well
as the Wii. You can rock out to more than
70 tunes in the song list in virtual venues ranging from a high school gym to
an outdoor rock concert at Stonehenge.
A similar game, Rock Band, is due
out this fall. Several players control a virtual drum set, bass guitar and other
instruments included in a rock band.
Last but not least, there’s Scene It?
Lights, Camera, Action, a new movie-trivia game for the Xbox 360. With more
than 1,800 trivia questions, Scene It? is a
great family or party game. It comes
with four wireless big-button controllers
that look and function like game-show
buzzers. Players hit the button when
they have the answers to trivia questions.—NF
With Scene It?, players tackle trivia
questions about movies. It makes for
great family fun.
For decades, video games have been gaining in popularity. The Nintendo Wii may be
the dawn of a whole new style of video
game—one that gets players like me up off
the couch. C
When he’s not playing video games, Nate
Fifield, 15, enjoys cooking classes, playing
drums and running around like Mario Bros.
characters with his friends and four siblings
in Snohomish, Washington.