The first thing you notice about the Nintendo Wii is not the cool graphics, or the new games, or the motion-sensitive controllers, but the fact that kids play it standing up. Swinging their arms. Reaching for imaginary balls. Maybe, just maybe, even breaking a sweat.
For those who worry about childhood obesity, this could be a hopeful sign. If Nintendo can sell enough of the things–and if the novelty doesn’t wear off too quickly–the Wii could become an antidote to the sedentary lifestyle that has swept a wired America.
Then you notice one other thing: the little white controllers have wrist straps. I doubt these were an afterthought. Anecdotes are coming out of odd corners: people are accidentally…throwing the things.
Is this a sizable phenomenon? I have no idea, but it’s enough that there’s now a website: http://wiihaveaproblem.com/ . It’s festooned with pictures of cracked DVD readouts and shattered TV screens–some made by Sony, the manufacturers of the rival PS3 gaming system.
Does Nintendo really have a problem with people letting go of their controllers? Hold on.