IVP - Strangely Dim - An Open Letter to the Makers of the Wii

March 12, 2010

An Open Letter to the Makers of the Wii

From time to time I try to use my bully pulpit, here at Strangely Dim and elswhere, to direct the course of human events. Hence the following open letter, which I hope will open new vistas for home entertainment, as well as aid you in your Lenten journey this year. You're welcome, America.

Dear Wii Makers:

You have taken over my life. There was a time that I sat on my couch most nights, watching TV, updating my Facebook status and/or reading a book--sometimes even reading the Holy Bible. No longer. Now most nights I stand on a little board enduring the ridicule of the digital dominatrix known as Wii Fit. Or I jump forward and backward and side to side to Ric Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" on the Wii Dance Dance Revolution footpad. Or I sling a replica Hofner bass around my neck and belt out "Oh Darlin'" at the top of my lungs while Beatle avatars prance around the Rock Band screen in front of me and my cats wail their complaint. Or I sit at my fake drumkit, trying to keep up with the monstrous tattooed avatar shredding the digital snare and double-pedal bass drum as the lyrics to Taylor Swift's "You Belong with Me" scroll across the Band Hero screen. Or I sing "Beat It" a capella on Guitar Hero because the Rock Band guitars aren't compatible. Or I plummet repeatedly to my death trying to get Logan across a dilapidated bridge in the opening sequence of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. You have taken over my life, Wii--at least my evenings--and I love you for it.

One thing you still lack, however. Something that combines the best features of all of the above--the ruthless rivalry of Wolverine, the audacity of Guitar Hero, the light and happy poppiness of Band Hero, the classic rock homages of Rock Band, the awkward contortions and regular humiliations of DDR and Wii Fit. So I would like to formally request a new game to further your colonization of my imagination: Glee for Wii. You could call it Glii.

Glee, the fanatically popular telemusical from Fox, is a show for adults and adolescents alike about high school in all its comic melodrama. On Glee we see people stab one another in the back and hug one another in the front. We watch them fall in love while indulging separate lusts. We wait expectantly for the anchor scenes of each episode, in which the cast breaks out in song and dance. Some of them even whip out their axes or start pounding on their skins. Sniff sniff: smell that? It's a video game waiting to be made.

When I "dance" for DDR, one of the things that distracts me is my desire to sing along to the music. When I "sing" for Rock Band or Band or Guitar Hero, I can't help wanting to move my feet. When I slice and dice people for Wolverine, I want to know whom I'm slicing and dicing. For all the gratification I experience playing these various games, I still leave slightly unsatisfied.

Of course, I could take a dance class at the community center on Monday nights. I could sign up for guitar or drum lessons on Tuesdays. I could attend choir rehearsals on Wednesday. I could join a Thursday-night fight club. But all of those things would take time away from my precious Wii and require that I interact with real human beings. And I can't abide by that. My home is my castle, and my Wii is my bastion of self-entertainment, the clearing house for so many of my innate desires and self-delusions. Glii could easily satisfy a number of the more mundane desires in one fell swoop. Is that so much to ask?

Of course, I could take a class to learn computer programming and create my own Glee game, but who has time or energy for that? So I'm asking you for your help: Here we are, Wii; entertain us. Again. There's no I in Glee--yet; I'm counting on you to remedy that.


David A. Zimmerman

P.S. Your games are too expensive.

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at March 12, 2010 9:15 AM Bookmark and Share


Worst part is the internet channel, allowing us to watch our church services online on the Wii on the big screen TV. It's WiiChurch, and it must stop.

But not til Monday, ok?

Comment by: Rick at March 12, 2010 11:34 AM

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a reader and writer who likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky. She takes in all kinds of good ideas as a proofreader for InterVarsity Press.

Rebecca Larson is a writer/designer/creative type who has infiltrated IVP's web department, where she writes and edits online content. She enjoys a good pun and loves the smell of freshly printed books.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs at The Rough Cut.

Likewise Books from InterVarsity Press explore a thoughtful, active faith lived out in real time in the midst of an emerging culture.

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