Old School and New School Gaming

Last night I got my Wii USB Ethernet adapter and connected my Wii to the ADSL router and configured the Wii for wired networking and voila! – I’ve found a world of fun exploring all the old school games from the online shoppe! – It’s absolutely superb. I had a real nostalgia rush when I started going through the catalogue. I’ve not got any points yet so I’m off to buy some (don’t have Visa so I’m going to have to go to a real shop to purchase my points) but then expect to not hear from me for a while as I’ve seen some from my distant past. If anyone has played “Secret of Mana” or the original Donkey Kong series, etc.

I’ve got WarioLand the Shake Dimension for the Wii and we’ve got Animal Crossing which the family are still aaddicted to. I can’t even get a look in! – The WarioLand game is OK and is reminiscent of older Mario fares but not quite as enjoyable, not sure why but I suspect it’s because of the ‘value’ of the prizes. i.e. the game has lots of bags of money scattered throughout and you collect it through many different mechanisms (mostly involving shaking the controller violently to get Wario to shake up the bags and spill the coins) but the pursuit of wealth was always secondary to the goal of completing levels and I think it’s too highly valued in WarioLand so I find I have to go back into levels to collect enough coins to get maps to the next worlds which for me is less fun than just tearing through the levels and getting on in the game.

Animal Crossing as I said is much fun, Nikki won the fishing competition last week and the kids are all obsessed by the latest fashions and hairstyles, it’s got a level of ‘stickability’ that I find quite fascinating for a game that doesn’t really go anywhere. Having said that now that I’ve got the network sorted I’m looking forward to exploring other villages and using the Wii speech system (which we’ve got as well with the game) to try some virtual meetings. I want to particularly compare this to more conventional forms of video conferencing and to SecondLife and I’d be interested in hearing what other people think about it as a form of social interaction online. I’ll let you know how I get on.

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About willwoods
I'm Head of Learning and Teaching Technologies in the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University.

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