I’m not much of a gamer. Aside from passing addictions to Mah Jong and Spider Solitaire and Scrabulous on Facebook, the only video games I really got into were Sim games: from Sim City to Sim Farm to the circa-1999 classic, The Sims.

I knew, though, that with three small boys and one big boy in the family, it was inevitable we’d end up with a game system of some sort in the house.  Reluctant though I was to start down that slippery slope, I have to admit that, like about 45 million other families around the world, wii love our Wii.


Here, then, are my arbitrary and capriciously chosen top five reasons that the Wii is the best game console for families:

  1. It gets you moving. We live in Ottawa, Canada where the winters are long and it’s not always easy to get the kids outside to burn off a little energy. A couple of rounds of Wii bowling or that crazy-fun and surprsingly difficult hula-hoop game for the Wii Fit burns energy and inevitably has us all laughing. Which brings me to the second reason I like the Wii…
  2. It’s a social game. Most of the games we own are designed for turn-taking, sharing the Wii-mote controller or collaborating. It’s a vast improvement over the many hours of my youth I spent spectating but not participating in the video games being played by my (mostly guy) friends.
  3. There’s a creative, thinking element. Rather than mindlessly gobbling up pellets and avoiding ghosts, I’ve found that the Wii games — especially the ones like Big Brain Academy and Wii Music — have a strong creative element in them. And, right now, my boys could spend hours just playing in the interface that allows you to create ‘Miis’, online Wii avatars.
  4. The games are usually short, with a finite beginning and end. This is great not only for restless kids with short attention spans but for appeasing kids with a taste of online play without committing to hours in front of the screen.
  5. Rock band. It’s true, we’re addicted. It’s a little bit too much for my five- and seven-year-olds to play themselves but they still love to watch my husband and I rock out every now and then. And here’s a tip for the youngest set: you can simply leave the microphone unplugged or use any toy guitar and let your littlest ones ‘play’ along.

Acting on a hot tip, ‘Santa’ stood in line outside a grocery store for 30 minutes in -20C weather the week before Christmas to score a Wii Fit console after four months of fruitless searching last year.  It was worth every frozen moment!


Danielle Donders is the author of the popular blog Postcards from the Mothership. She graces us with her take on how technology impacts the parenting (and motherhood) process each Thursday in this space.

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