My brother isn’t a gamer, or rather he isn’t a gamer anymore. He stopped playing as a hobby early in the PS1 days. Even when he was playing PS1 games, he only played because I owned the PS1 and I bought/rented the games.
Once, months ago, he was watching me play Guild Wars. I was in a town and he asked if “all those characters were real people”. When I answered “Yes”, he was a little surprised. He repeated this question a couple of times, pointing at specific player-characters, and I repeated my affirmation. Online multi-player RPGs were a new concept to him.
When I told him about how my Nintendo DS Lite can use a wireless network so that I can visit another person’s town in Animal Crossing: Wild World, he reacted as if I was talking about something out of Star Trek.
He remembers playing Silent Hill, Metal Gear Solid, and Resident Evil 2 with me, but he doesn’t keep up on releases or industry news. What news he does get usually comes from me, as most of his friends aren’t hardcore gamers either.
Last night, I asked him what the word “Wii” made him think of. He said that hearing it made him think of:
- “me and you”
I spelled “Wii” for him, and asked him what sort of product it made him think of. He said that he couldn’t think of anything in particular.
I told him that it was the name of Nintendo’s next-generation games console. He was surprised and said that it didn’t sound like a games machine.
I explained the rationale behind the name, and he said that it made sense. I told him about the Wii controller, and he expressed amazement, much along the lines of “What will they think of next?”
“Wii” didn’t make him think of all the things that avid gamers have been associating with the name. To my brother “Wii” was a neutral name until I created the association with Nintendo and videogames. The case may be the same for other non-gamers/casual gamers as well.
EDIT: I forgot to add this bit. My brother also remarked, “Oh so it’s sort of like ‘Wheeee!’ = fun thing?” Yes.