Every morning I’m greeted with gunfire. As I wake up, I make my way through an active warzone, and I realize: I’m numb to it. I hear screaming, feel death, and see people expel more blood than a person should have in their body. My roommate is playing one of the five Battlefield Games, and I’m reminded I will never own nor play those games without immediately resulting in my virtual death. I don’t own an Xbox One, 360, or even an original. I own a Wii.
It was 2004 when I received my first Nintendo console. My next door neighbor had gifted me a shiny silver gamecube, complete with Sonic Heroes and no memory card. 7-year-old me had struck gold. I could both mindlessly control a small hedgehog and feel included when my friends at school discussed the new games to hit shelves. It was my in.
We took a field trip one day where everyone on the bus played Mario Kart DS. I didn’t own a handheld console, because my father couldn’t limit my playtime. As I watched everyone sync up using Nintendo WFC, I sat in my seat and watched the other cars passing, only to realize that every child in every car had a DS as well, and so everyone was on a boat sailing towards the future except me. I was trapped in a sea of obscurity.
When the Wii came out, I refused to fall behind the curve again. However, I was not going to get up at five in the morning to wait three hours outside of Gamestop; I could barely even get up at nine. Soon, all my friends swapped stories of how early they got up, how their parents let them miss school, how their Miis looked so much like them (even though, by today’s standards, they’re all just blobs.) Two years later, in the summer of 2008, I happened to stumble into a Target on my way to camp. As we were walking around I spotted the crowned jewel: the last Wii in the store. My Dad, seeing the glimmer in my eye and also probably tired of the daily prodding, took the chance to win his “World Greatest Dad” mug and bought it for me. I had done it. No longer would I feel left out when everyone discussed the revolutionary 2006 motion controls. Gone were the days I couldn’t relate to hitting myself in the face while swinging a “bat” during 3-inning Wii baseball (where you can’t even control the fielders.) Where previously I was in the sea, I was now captain of the ship.
Much like the eye of a hurricane, I soon discovered that after a period of calm, the storm comes back with full force. Console wars. With graphics improving and technology advancing, the market changed. The horrible iToy that made PS2s not worth it over the Wii was forgotten as PS3s and 4s stocked shelves. Who cared whether Mario could fly through a galaxy when you could play online with a headset, shooting Germans in the face on your Xbox One? Just like that, I was thrown overboard as the boat capsized and made way for aircraft carriers and Disney Cruises.
But this time, I knew I could swim.
So I sat back, and watched the world, and my life, advance around my little corner of 2006. Newer and newer consoles and titles didn’t bother me, because at the end of the day, I could go home and unwind with games I had fallen in love with. Every time I returned home from college, where my floormates had an Oculus rift, I was greeted by the console that had stuck by me through everything life had to throw at me.
I was being slightly facetious before: my father didn’t buy me the Wii because he wanted brownie points. My Mother had promised me that she’d get me a Wii for Hannukah the year prior and passed away before she got the chance to. We moved to a new house, I had to change schools, and when my father and I found the Wii in Target, there was no world in which we didn’t get it.
I haven’t bought another console since.
Who cares that I’ll never be good at Call of Duty? Who cares that I won’t own the newest Spider-Man game? (Though I’ll admit it’s amazing.) I still thoroughly enjoy my games. I love being able to play fun and exciting titles like Mario and Zelda. I love the fact I can still play my old gamecube games without getting rid of them like a lot of people did. I’m grateful that when the Wii Shop Channel was still available, I bought N64 games for my virtual console.
All I’m saying is: I love my Wii, I’ll beat you in Mario Kart, and if you want to venmo me so I can buy a Switch, feel free to do so.