August 3, 2007 – It couldn’t be more ironic for those of us in the baby boomer generation that spent the last 20 years berating our kids to “get off the darn game console and go play outside” (like we used to!). Our kids might smirk to learn that Nintendo’s latest marketing coup is paying off – selling its new Wii games to baby boomers and retirement communities. A frequent marketing venue: AARP conventions!
By way of background we had better explain Wii. It is basically a device from Nintendo that you wear that allows a virtual experience on your TV – without the equipment and place to play it. So you can bowl a perfect game without a bowling alley, smash Tiger Woods-type 300 yard drives without a course – do just about anything.
You also don’t have to have the strength that is traditionally required for these games. All you need is to be able to simulate the motion and you can experience the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat”. Advocates are claiming that the activity, while not as physically as challenging as the real thing, does have health and conditioning benefits.
Nintendo is actively marketing one game in particular to older people, a target that is obviously concerned with hanging on to their existing brain power. Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree is designed to give players’ brains exercise in games of knowledge, recognition, and memory. Several players can play and compete each other. George Harrison, Nintendo of America’s senior VP says that “With Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree, users can come together socially while challenging themselves mentally”.
So if you have been checking out a retirement community, add one more amenity to investigate!
Official Nintendo site http://wii.nintendo.com/
Wikipedia entry on Wii
Chicago Tribune article on bowling in retirement community
Help, my husband is retiring
More helpful articles about retirement