Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's All About Mii

I’d like you to meet my video game avatar Wii Fit family: The Mom (that’s me in all my constant sunglass wearing glory in the middle), and the rest of the crew.

What’s interesting about this little display (other than the disruptive moiré pattern) is how much my husband (right) and my son (2nd from left) look remarkably like their Wii folks (okay – it’s more accurate to say that their Mii’s look like them). Is that a figure of merit? To be able to be well represented by a limited amount of changeable cartoon characteristics?

When one is playing Wii, it certainly is – especially for your opponents. (Or, in general, if it makes you look cooler than you really look.)

While making her world of Mii friends, the youngest did not forget her littlest, hairiest friend...
Izzy the Pug-Mii.

And yes. People really do chuck their Wii-motes in all the excitement. Ask my mother (fortunately, there was no damage to the remote or the metal DDR pad into which it flew)!

Update: Check out this Pug-Mii construction!


Amy said...

Oh my god, I'm so old. I have no idea what you are talking about except that Wii is a new video game console, or maybe not even so new anymore. The whole post is like a foreign language to me. I like Pac Man and Tempest.

C. August said...

Amy, Tempest was awesome, and my absolute favorite game growing up. In fact, I missed the beginning of "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" because my friend and I were engrossed in a game of Tempest in the theater lobby.

LB, I have to agree that Stephen's Mii looks an awful lot like him. My Mii also looks like me -- it's easy to make a bald guy. And the controls for changing brow shape, head shape, eye shape/color/angle, etc. are so detailed, that you really can come to a close approximation. Of course it helps if there is a strong defining characteristic to the face so that if you capture it, it really looks like the person.

What games do y'all play? Because my kids are 5 and 3, we're heavy on the Disney Princess adventure genre, and Dora and Diego. My daughter got the High School Musical sing-along for xmas, which she loves. For me, I love Guitar Hero, but since I'm not a gamer at all, I haven't sought out any other games. I have Madden '08, but can't be bothered to learn it.

LB said...

Having no idea what I'm talking about doesn't make you old - it probably just means you haven't been hanging out with the 10-20 year-old set lately. Except for a brief flirtation with Frogger in my 20s, Atari Pong was the last video game I played with any regularity - now that's old.

Wii Fit is a kind of fitness video game. It keeps track of your balance, BMI, and weight while you do strength, balance, stretching, and aerobic games/exercises standing on a board that sends wireless data to the system. (Mii's are the little video game representations you make of yourself on the system.)

So until the government steps in to monitor those things for me, I'm having fun with my Wii. (Sounds funny.)

DDR is Dance Dance Revolution, a dancing game that I've been a little crazy about for a while.

The Wii console, Wii Fit, RockBand, DDR, and metal DDR pads were what the five of us shared for Christmas this year. And little else. Happily, we are all still enamored with it and have been using it - a lot - together. It's been fun.

LB said...

Do I have to tell you who is the absolute best at RockBand AND DDR? If you guessed Stephen, you'd be right. Now RockBand you might guess because he's a real drummer and loves the old rock classics in the video game, but DDR? C'mon!

His willingness to give it a try (Pong was his last foray into video games as well) and ever-expanding skill set never cease to amaze me.

C. August said...

I covet RockBand. Actually, I'd prefer Guitar Hero World Tour (I think that's what it's called) which has a more realistic drum kit than RockBand.

Anyhoo, all I have is GH III, which is still tons of fun. Can I just tell you that playing Slow Ride on the expert level is really damn hard? I finally got it though.

I played RockBand with my nephews over Christmas, and it was just tons of fun. I've played drums a bit, bass, guitar, and have a good singing voice, so I was on the hard level while they were on easy. That flexibility makes it so that a 37 year old guy with musical training can play with a 7 year old and it works. Awesome!

Tell Stephen we'll have to get a fake band together!

Never tried DDR, though the kids did get Wii Outdoor Challenge which has a "Step-on-a-mole" game that appears to require similar footwork. (we haven't tried the game yet) If the kids can do it, perhaps DDR will be the next purchase.

C. August said...

I just did a bit of looking, since I hadn't seriously investigated either RockBand or GH:World Tour, and it sounds like RockBand2 -- with the ability to add cymbals to the drum kit -- is overall better than GHWT.

Now, if I could just make a rational case for shelling out $250 for a video game when I'm the only one in the house able to play it...

LB said...

Yes, and I can upgrade to RB2 for less because I already have the RB1 peripherals. I just don't think we're ready for the cymbals yet, though.

Before you know it, you'll have your own family band together. My youngest is usually the drummer.

Kim said...

I have Miis for the whole family and some extended family. We love playing games and rooting for whatever family member is playing on your team. My husband also made 'Crazy Joe' and 'Mad Jack', once he discovered that eyebrow location and size need not have much relation to other features of the face.

The pug is awesome. I totally see it.

LB said...

Courtesy of the youngest, we have Miis for Santa and every child in our chorus. After chorus yesterday she needed to run home to fix the Mii of a boy who got a significant hair cut.

That's the thing about video games that makes me crazy - it approximates a real skill (in this case, drawing) but without the effort. I'm sure she is learning something, though, like how the shape, size, and placement of facial features really changes the appearance. I just don't know how that affects her development of other, more demanding skills.