Diary of a Web nerd: The Wii as a social platform

Diary of a Web nerd: The Wii as a social platform

Summary: Is it so far-fetched to believe that the next iteration of the Wii might include its own social network or might better connect to other social networks?

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The Wii as a social platformSad as it may seem, it takes much to pull me away from my computer when I am at home with little else to do. I don't live my entire life on the Internet -- I do leave the house (sometimes) -- but when I am at home you can be sure that the laptop or smart phone are within a few feet of my reach. This has all changed.

On Friday, after a long day at work, I barely touched my laptop. I forgot to turn my smart phone's ringer back on after I'd turned it off during a meeting. The only thing I was interested in using was my new Nintendo Wii.

I know this is a common story. Girl buys video game system, video game system takes over life, girl moves into basement and starts eating Funyuns. Thankfully the latter two haven't yet happened but they are a distinct possibility if I don't get some Wii discipline.

But it's not all bad. I initially bought the Wii because my friend Hillary told me how much she liked the Wii Fit. Considering I've become workout lazy over the last month and I am generally unmotivated once October hits, I was sold. I found the Wii Fit bundle and the Wii console on eBay for a reasonable price and I grabbed it. It got here two days later.

My first evening with the Wii Fit -- which was the same Friday mentioned above -- was a little tough on the self-esteem. When attempting a balance game, the Wii Fit actually asked me if I find myself tripping when I walk (a snarky retort that Hillary had warned me about before I purchased). Thankfully we both love snark but that didn't stop me from yelling obscenities at the little white box in question.

Then yesterday, further pursuing my objective of the Wii as an exercise platform, I bought Dance Dance Revolution or "DDR." I also bought "House of the Dead 2 & 3" and "Crash Bandicoot of the Titans" and am currently trying to tie those to my exercise program. Mental agility, perhaps?

All of this aside, I am wondering if the next iteration of the Wii is going to allow us to be more social? I already added a few of my close friends to my console so that we can compete against each other. There's even a Facebook application that allows people to post their Wii console numbers on their profiles and it also, I believe, stores other numbers sent from friends. However I'm not entirely comfortable, for security reasons, posting my Wii console number for the world to see and giving strangers potential access to my Wii console. So what's next?

The Wii already connects to the Internet and allows us to communicate with friends console-to-console or through email. We can compete against each other in games. Is it so far fetched to believe that the next version might include its own social network or might better connect to its own Facebook or MySpace application that shows our scores and provides a protected path for our friends to add us? Or, wouldn't it be cool if our Mii people could not only gather in the plaza, but have their own Twitter profiles that update our Wii scores?

The demographic that loves these types of console games is not so different from that of iPhone lovers and social media Web nerds, like me. So why wouldn't Nintendo look at making the Wii more social?

Let me know what you think. I'll be over here shooting zombies.

Topics: Collaboration, Browser, Mobility, Social Enterprise

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7 comments
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  • Clearly, A Leading Web Nerd

    Jennifer, I am merely a wannabe Web Nerd and my purchase of high tech toys far outpaces my ability to learn to use them and to integrate them into my life.

    Not only that, I strongly prefer drinking zombies to shooting zombies.

    But I am quite interested in Wii Fit and hope you will keep us informed about your experiences in using it to become more fit, and perhaps, more social.
    KayBallard
    • Love the Wii Fit

      It almost shames me into using it time and time again. ;-)
      Jennifer Leggio
  • RE: Diary of a Web nerd: The Wii as a social platform

    If someone at nintendo is scouring the web for ideas, they'll surely find some here.
    goofiuss
    • If only...

      ...someone at Nintendo could get us connected right!
      Jennifer Leggio
  • What about dating?

    A hottie like you playing Wii Fit on Friday's night??
    That sound weird. However, it also sounds scary.
    Greater online connectivity is taking a toll on real-
    world interaction and social involvement. I do not
    find that particularly strange for a stereotypical
    nerd, but for you? :O I am very surprised!
    markbn
    • Ha!

      First, I'm flattered, thank you. Second, I actually prefer playing video games on a Friday night to dealing with dating. Don't be surprised. :-)
      Jennifer Leggio
    • Female nerds? No way!!

      You know, it's a little bit frustrating that people
      still can't get it through their heads that girls can
      be nerdy too.

      [i]I do not find that particularly strange for a
      stereotypical nerd, but for you? :O I am very
      surprised![/i]

      Your comment seems to imply that it's somehow less
      okay for girls to spend their time playing video games
      with their friends than it is for guys to spend their
      time that way. You're not the first person that I've
      encountered to treat female nerds this way, and I'm
      sure you won't be the last either.

      Also, while I'm sure it was meant as a compliment,
      calling the author a 'hottie' isn't really helping
      your case: why on earth would her appearance have
      ANYTHING to do with how she chooses to spend her time?
      Playing WiiFit might be more fun than going to a bar
      on a Friday and getting hit on by random guys calling
      her 'hottie' all night: I certainly don't much like
      going out to clubs and bars anymore for just that
      reason.

      Now, to reply to the actual story: I don't play much
      online (mostly because I get beaten so bad :P) but I
      think I'd like to start if I could play against my
      friends by adding them through facebook on my Wii.
      Part of the reason why I don't play much against them
      now is because of the work involved in adding a friend
      to my friends list: I'd sooner just invite them over
      and play with them in the same room. I have an xbox360
      and I find adding friends to be MUCH easier on that,
      partially because of the MSN Messenger integration.
      Rockband is amazing online with friends :) I also love
      the idea of updating Wii scores on twitter profiles.
      Twitter is great, but I don't use it much. I'd love to
      see more integration with the tech I currently use,
      like my Wii!!
      Caggles