Friday, July 25, 2008

Hold on grandma, Wii!

"Bill Boucher, 80, of Clarksville attempts to knock down remaining pins as he plays Wii bowling at the Bain Center in Columbia against Barbara Ray, sitting, Tuesday, July 15. The Wii bowling games were organized by the Department of Recreation and Parks seniors programs manager."

Wii. Wii've never played it. Wii probably never will. My car my for Wiieels.

OK. Enough of the nonsense. But it's not the end of Wii - Nintendo Wii.

Last week I heard "Weeeeee" as I made my way out for the day. It was a reference to get my attention. My morning assignment for the next day was shooting a group of seniors that play Nintendo Wii as a mode of exercise every Tuesday.

Though the story was endearing, at the same time I was thinking how much heart pumping movement can you really get from the game system?

I can attest that I've played it once. I was horrible, however, that cannot go to say that the select beverages I was drinking at the time didn't hinder my ability to return a serve playing tennis or bowl a perfect score while bowling. Darnay crushed me.

On my way to the Bain Center I began thinking of what I was about to experience. Would I really be witnessing grandmothers and grandfathers screaming "Wii" and jumping around like Tom Cruise on Oprah, or would they be a bunch of confused old folk like my parents and an iPod.

Personally, I know I could never envision my grandmother playing a video game, ever. Why? Because my mother just started using e-mail last week. Conversely, that doesn't go to say all elders (Mom, you're not old... if you're even reading) are not up to speed with technological advancements.

When I arrived and walked through the sliding-doors the energy level was about the same as when my alarm clock went off at 6:15 a.m. - half asleep and dull.

Then out popped a couple smiling elders with their game faces on and video game controllers in their hands. Signs adorned the hall pointing out today was Wii day. I was hoping one would say, "Today, Wii play." No such luck.

The TV was small, but the competition was fierce. Although only four players showed up, the room got quiet each time someone went to bowl and all eyes glued to the TV. Yes, even the "dog on wheels." And no, the dog wasn't on wheels. That's just what they called the horse great pyrenees.

One particular woman was really good and was beating everyone. She looked like me playing sports. No smiles, all business. She did break the barrier and flash a couple smirks as the others started getting better and better.

Most of them told me they enjoyed it because when they used to bowl, they would get tired of the heavy bowling balls. However, one man still got winded playing the virtual version.

It was a fun little assignment that I feared wouldn't be very visual if they were playing on a small TV.

I am glad I stepped back and saw the assignment differently than when I first arrived and made some nice images of the seniors playing something new to them, yet, just another gaming console to me.


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