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

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?
Written by Jennifer Leggio, Contributor
The Wii as a social platform
Sad 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.

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