Nintendo Wii, a system that some of you whine or disrespect, either because you think it’s a toy, or think it’s a system full of shovel ware or maybe you just don’t like Nintendo and you live by the “Genesis does what Nintendon’t” rules. In my honest opinion it doesn’t have much to do with those at all, what I can see are to polar opposites between the Wii and the 360/PS3, as the Wii caters to almost anyone, the 360 and PS3 caters more to the gamer who has a history in gaming, however there is a slight element in here that even I see from time to time, self image.
The Wii is built to be a simple family product whilst the other systems try to be futuristic and to be the “in thing”. Nothing wrong with those designs, however from visiting forums, websites, youtube, etc one thing is apparent and that the self image of the Nintendo Wii discourages a lot of older gamers because they think it’s a toy, and that toys are simply thing that children play with, here’s the issue, it’s a very western thing to say, and maybe we should look at other cultures and different pastimes to understand how “It looks like a toy” phrase is flawed in many ways.
First let’s look at the Japanese, one heck of a country that their games industry made its mark on gaming for the rest of history. However it’s a culture that enjoys art as well as its video games. One thing that’s pretty big in Japan are figure arts; think of these as action figures you had as a kid, be it He-Man, Action Man, Gi-Joe, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, except they’re a lot more detailed and in most cases are not poseable, and sometimes need to be painted like a Warhammer model. These are still toys, but they’re bought by a large number of 20 year old something’s in Japan, be is anime characters, video game characters, or even models of famous Japanese clothes models, they’re still bought by men either because they enjoy them for aesthetic reasons, or even a sexual reasons, but they’re still toys, and they’re bought by men.
As mentioned in a Youtube episode of Game Over Thinker, Movie Bob, the host, discusses about how the idea of “Stop playing with toys you’re too old” concept to a degree where by you can take something as simple as say, a ball, what child hasn’t played with a ball? A ball is a toy right? So why is it that there are major league sports such as Football, American Football, Tennis, and many other competitive sports use a toy in its sport? It’s funny to think that we often tell ourselves that we don’t need toys since we’re getting older to discover that toys without thinking about it are used in serious matters, sure I’m not saying that Fisher Price should be taken to work, but the word “Toy” itself shouldn’t be used it the “You shouldn’t be playing with toys” phrase.
Going back to Youtube, you can look up many commercials that use the similar Nintendo vibe of “It’s the anyone machine”, or the “It can be used as an executive toy” theme. Nintendo has done this plenty of times, even way before the Wii.
Even Atari did it before Nintendo made consoles…
The simple truth is… Videogames are toys, if they’re designed to be “badass” or not, after all what about cars? Aren’t they supposed to be “boys toys”? At the end of the day, Videogames have a broad demographic that caters to pretty much anyone, and to think that it doesn’t is a flawed excuse to think of one’s self as being mature, despite still playing videogames. Just as the Atari commercial suggests, there’s another person finding his inner little boy… And there's nothing wrong about it :P