The Wii U has been great for my marriage
My wife doesn't really play video games. She had an episode with Spyro when she was younger that she doesn't like to talk about, like a relationship that ended badly where she did some things she's not proud of. And then there was the Animal Crossing phase on the GameCube, where she didn't play for two weeks and when she went back into the game, all of her neighbors were mad at her. That stressed her out quite a bit. So I guess the reason she avoids video games is that she can't disconnect herself and feels bad if something bad happens. That was until I bought a Wii U.
Since I work as a gaming journalist, my wife is supportive of me playing video games. Sure, she thinks it's another language I'm speaking when I'm on Ventrilo with my friends playing League of Legends, but she understands that gaming is something I have a passion for. Outside of games for her phone -- like Peggle and Words with Friends -- she doesn't play any video games. Now, I recently bought a Nintendo Wii U. It's been a while since I owned a Nintendo system, and as I also recently purchased a Nintendo 3DS XL, my love for Nintendo has been rekindled. I should also tell you that I have a 3 1/2 year-old boy and a newborn at home; that's vital to my story.
While my three-year-old, Colton, has played games like Cars 2 and Toy Story 3 on the Xbox 360, he mainly just runs around in circles. It wasn't until we played Nintendo Land on the Wii U that he actually played a game with me. The simplistic buttons and actions required for Nintendo Land's The Legends of Zelda: Battle Quest and Luigi's Ghost Mansion was better suited for him to play, instead of a bulky 360 controller with triggers and such. And since the controls were easier, he would time his swipes. He knew when he should swing at an enemy. Or if he wanted to keeping clicking the flashlight on and off in Luigi's Ghost Mansion, he could, because odds are he would catch me in his light.
So maybe it was watching my three-year-old have so much fun that my wife decided to try it out. It was about 11:15 PM and we were expecting our newborn to wake up for a feeding in a couple of minutes, so I suggested to my wife that she should play the Wii U with me. She agreed, and we started trying out all of the different games in Nintendo Land. Next thing we knew, it was 1:00 AM and we were still playing. She had gotten the hang of some of the games and was actually having fun. She even tried out the GamePad a few times, which intimidated her at first because it had a lot of buttons and she isn't used to playing video games.
That night was awesome, as I was able to share something I have a passion for with her. Usually, I'm sitting there playing video games while she browses Facebook or goes to another room to watch TV. Instead, I now find myself asking her if she would like to play, too, and she says yes! This is bleeding over into other aspects of gaming. When I was watching the IPL5 over the weekend, she started asking what certain things meant during the League of Legends matches. She's learning and she's starting to enjoy it -- at least, she's pretending she is. Seriously, if she's faking it, she's good, and I'm going to have to second guess everything that she said has been great...
What I'm trying to say is, the Wii U has done something that PC gaming, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 has failed to do. It's getting my wife to play video games. Now, you can say that the Wii did the same thing with families and non-gamers after it released, but even that didn't interest my wife. There's something about this little HD Nintendo console that did it -- or maybe it's that she doesn't want to be worse than a three-year-old...