Wii May Not Be That Bad

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:

  • “togetherness”
  • “me and you”
  • “us”
  • “them”
  • “we”

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.

  8 comments for “Wii May Not Be That Bad

  1. 4 May 2006 at 10:54

    That’s really interesting. I asked my dad what he thought of the anme, and he thought it was good . He hasn’t played games since Pong, but has watched me play, and keeps up with any news technology oriented, and he thought that it represented Nintendo taking giant steps away from its Playstation and Xbox. I thought it was great that he thought that, especially since he isn’t a gamer.

  2. 4 May 2006 at 13:37

    That’s a very well thought out explanation, although many gamers don’t like the name it’s encouraging the non gamers do. I was thinking for a time now that Nintendo was dying, or fading away but with this new console and way of thinking hopefully they reclaim some of their turf.

  3. Patrick
    4 May 2006 at 14:06

    In the past week I’ve come to like the name, its crazy, because my gut reaction, after the nausea, was that Nintendo had shot itself in the foot. I’ve since realized that if you say Wii with using possive tense or articles, it actually sounds really hip. “The Wii”, “my Wii” and “a Wii” all sound silly, but “this is the Wii version” and “lets play some Wii” sound pretty cool.

  4. 4 May 2006 at 16:05

    I’m still not convinced. “My Wii”? Uh… Still feels like a crappy name. I just don’t feel comfortable telling someone “Hey, I’m going to go home and play with my Wii.”

    I’ll probably still buy one, but I’m going to always refer to it as the Revolution.

  5. Andrew
    4 May 2006 at 19:10

    Whats in a name? The Wii is a brilliant name, in because stated before its the first system to have a name not fitting with the current gaming satus quo. It proves that Nintendo hasnt lost its creativity, would you rather it be called the Nintendo “Gamecube 2.” Personally I was dissapointed when Sony went with such a lackluster title for there new system all those years ago.

  6. bigwig
    4 May 2006 at 19:36

    my initial response to the name was hearing homer simpsons voice in my head going “wheeeeeeeeee”.

    when i heard the uproar over it i thought it was an awfully immature and ridiculous reaction.

    but then, so is hearing “wheeeeeeeeeee” in your head when you see Wii.

  7. 5 May 2006 at 08:30

    Yeah, actually I think Gamecube 2 would be a better name than “Wii”.

  8. 6 July 2006 at 18:16

    I’m not a huge fan of the name and it does make me giggle just a bit, but really, who cares?

    Besides, who ever says “I’m going home to go play with my xbox”?…no, we say “I’m going to go home and play on the xbox” so that turns “I”m going to go home and play with my Wii” into “I’m going to go home and play on the Wii”. Doesn’t sound nearly as suggestive!

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