Mii, Myself and I

Having now lived with the game system for a couple of weeks now, some thoughts on the Wii:

1. It genuinely disturbs me how much my “mii” (which people here and otherwheres insist I should call “Scalzii”) looks like me. One should not closely resemble a basic polygon map, and that’s all there is to it.

2. I’m embarrassed how much playing Wii Sports actually makes me sweat. It’s not like I’m an over-sweater in a general sense. But five minutes playing tennis, and as Space Ghost would say: “Man. Sweatin’ like a Trekkie.”

3. Wii Sports also makes me intensely competitive, I think largely because I hate to lose to anything that looks like the armless dudes that come in Tonka trucks. When I’m playing the tennis game after a long volley which I finally win, I flip off the computerized opponets during the slow motion replay. Take that, Tonka dude.

4. Speaking of which, that slow motion replay thing makes me feel bad more often than not, because it accentuates when I’m flailing about, really bad. It’s like the computer is saying to you, look, it’s not that I’m judging you. But I think you really need to see yourself in action. Keep it to yourself, HAL.

5. Moving away from the obviously neuroses-inducing Wii Sports, I bought the Wii Internet Channel, which comes with a Web browser, because there’s nothing like crusing the Web on a 56-inch screen and with a game system with 480 lines of vertical resolution. Krissy’s sole response, when I popped up Whatever on the TV was, “Oh, great. Yet another place for you to check your e-mail.” Not everyone is in love with teh Intarweebs. I know! I find it hard to believe myself.

43 thoughts on “Mii, Myself and I

  1. I got a Wii Fit and didn’t get on it for a couple of days and it started to scold me. It was genuinely humiliating.

    The guy who programmed it gave it this sing songy condescending way of telling you you haven’t exercised. It’s like “Oh good to see… who are you again?”

    Then it keeps it up for like a full minute even when you keep pressing “A” repeatedly.

  2. I know what you mean about the disturbing resemblance possible between Miis and their creators. My mom’s Mii really looks like a LOT like her, and we’re not sure why that is. I think it might be the mouth, which is coincidentally the same mouth your Mii has. And my sister and I put together one that looks a whole lot like our dad… although our dad rejects this in favor of the less-realistic (?) one he created for himself. It would be interesting to see how many people could be recognized just from their Miis. (I’m planning on knitting a cabled toque for my husband so he can match his Mii better. Life imitates art.)

    My sister also created Miis to represent her dog and her iguana, which prompted me to make Miis of three of my six cats. Obviously the resemblance is limited, but there are a few features that definitely evoke them.

  3. My Mii looks like Bela Lugosi. My family has been too kind to tell me if this is an improvement.

    However, he is a kick ass boxer and has a mean cross-court forehand.

    My favorite Wii trick is to release the bowling ball backwards and make the other Mii’s jump.

  4. BTW,

    It looks like you Mii opponents in tennis are Kim Jung Il and the celebrity actress from the original Iron Chef.

  5. I am supposed to be saving money for new living room furniture! Stop tempting me with the wonders of the Wii! Maybe I can hold out until extra paycheck month… that’s 3 or 4 months away I think.

  6. I love tennis on Wii sports. Sadly the Christmas Wii is back with my mom and my brothers and I’m off at school. Most of the Miis don’t look that much like us, but my youngest brother’s Mii is dead on. It’s crazy.

    Personally, I want to play Animal Crossing: City Folk, since I loved the last two versions of Animal Crossing.

    But the Wii internet channel – I am jealous.

  7. Friends of mine got a Wii for Christmas, and I was somewhat taken aback to find that I LOVE Wii Boxing. Great exercise and, boy, does that ever get rid of the pent-up aggression!

  8. The Wii fit is a bitch. Oh, and there’s no humiliation like the little weeble-wobble cartoon Mii growing a fat ass when it measures my BMI and then looking around at itself as if to say “WFT happened?”

    But it’s my best favorite new toy. And anything that makes me work out in the land of winter is good.

  9. If you think tennis makes you sweat, try swimming. I’ll walk into my kids’ room and they’re doing the dog paddle with their Wii controllers as if they’re swimming about a million miles per hour.

  10. Hehe I’m a collegiate athlete and Wii Sports made me sweat!!! I lost one of the racing competitions to a tiny little eight-year-old because, apparently, Wii doesn’t care how long your legs are!!!

  11. Is anyone’s Wii Fit age younger than their real age? I get the feeling that it just adds a couple years to the person’s real age. (My Wii Fit Age was 3 years older tan my real age)

  12. I’m pretty sure you can hit the “A” button during the replay to skip it. It might be limited to when you’re the one doing the ass-kicking though, so that wouldn’t be much fun…

  13. My Wii is named … wait for it … “Wiiton.”

    If you want to really go crazy with the Internet channel, track down that thing on Google Video that’s hours of MTV – including glorious commercials – from 1983 and full-screen it.

    You have to waggle the Wiimote every 10 minutes or it assumes you’re not watching/listening/whatever and breaks the connection. It’s a totally stupid and a bug I wish they’d fix, but I’m not holding my breath.

    Still, watching 1983′s MTV on your own television is pretty damn awesome.

  14. My personal trainer says the Wii makes him sweat, and he regularly runs 10+ miles and is quite fit. So I think sweating while playing is normal.

  15. Seconding World Of Goo. It’s a little like Lemmings, if Lemmings had a better sense of humor and involved building structures that answer to physics in realtime. Since the puzzles are all based around the game-world’s own internal logic, it’s equally suitable for an adult as it is for a ten-year old. The first set of levels are available online for free download.

    Also, if there are any “Where’s Waldo?” fans in your house, the Spot Mii game is cracktastically addictive. I love it. It’s one of the ones that comes with the Wii, in the same set as the billiard’s game and that knit bull racing one.

    For bowling: monkey with the controls if you haven’t yet. It took me a few weeks of playing before I realized that you can move your Mii off the center mark and change their angle of approach. I also found that my throws were consistently veering right, so I turned the Wiimote into my palm a little (left-handed) and started getting a lot more strikes. Oh, and throw a ball backward into the crowd if you haven’t yet, as well. It’s funny.

  16. Robin
    For a moment there, when I read “life imitates art,” I thought you had written that backwards, because it would be your art (knitting) imitating real life (the Wii figure).

    Then I realized that in the real world, most people consider Wii figures to be “art” and knitting a cap to be “life.” Duh.

    When I had finally recovered from all this mental backtracking and epiphany, I realized that at some point in the proceedings I apparently gained enough Oblivious Total Nerd points to level up without noticing. Go me.

  17. For hours of bizarre but undeniable fun at parties, check out Wario Ware Smooth Moves.

    My friends tell me it’s hard to find these days, but it is totally worth the effort. Of the three games I got with my Wii bundle (Sports and Rayman Raving Rabbids being the other two), it’s my favorite–not least for showing off all the crazy things you can do with the controller.

    Besides, where else can you find a boss fight that involves shooting bananas into a giant floating nose? I’m totally serious. Aim for the nostrils!

  18. My brother-in-law is also spot-on as a Mii, and a friend helped me connect the dots. I mean, my Mii looks vaguely like me, but nowhere near as accurate as my BIL. The friend suggested that perhaps the Wii game designers may be of a certain gender, and share certain characteristics such as glasses, goatee, and a certain softness of the jawline (and waistline) with my brother-in-law. Those characteristics are naturally favored in the Mii options (just try to find more than one female haircut that looks like a woman actually might wear her hair that way) than the other characteristics.

    Yes, I am arguing for a Male Geek bias in the Mii creation process. ;)

  19. Is anyone’s Wii Fit age younger than their real age? I get the feeling that it just adds a couple years to the person’s real age. (My Wii Fit Age was 3 years older tan my real age)

    Yes, it’s possible once you get good at the balance games it chooses to test you. I find some are easier than others too. My best is 7 years younger than me, but I’m usually plus or minus 2 years from my actual age.

  20. My mother, to her astonishment, was given a Wii Fit age nearly 7 years younger than her actual age (53 vs almost 60).

    (I, on the other hand, have had readings [?] of +8 years and +1 year on the same day. For me it seems to depend almost entirely on which balance tests I’m given; I’m good at some of them and really awful at the walking-in-place one, because I just can’t do that naturally. The game asks me rather often if I trip over my own feet when walking. :P)

    Soni, sorry to boggle you. I can totally relate to your Oblivious Nerd stat, though. :)

    Annalee Flower Horne: I think you’re thinking of Wii Play, which is the one with Find Mii and Billiards and Cute Little Tanks (okay, it’s just called Tanks! in the game, but it’s almost impossible for my sister and I to refrain from adding the adjectives). Wii Sports is the one that comes packed in with the Wii — a terrific start to a pretty cool system, even if, like me, all you play is Bowling.

  21. My Mii is dead on, especially when Wii Fit adds girth immediately following the piping falsetto “That’s obese!”.

    Normally I’m about 4 years younger on Wii Fit and around 7 to 10 years younger on Wii Sports. I’ve had a few outliers where I’m a couple years over.

    And I sweat like the three time world champion speed-sweater outdoors in Las Vegas in July. Although that’s before I start exercising. We put down a canvas drop cloth to keep the floor from getting too slick.

  22. As much as I hate to contribute to your sweating, you need to try out Dance Dance Revolution. I usually disable the wiimote part (I don’t think it accurately picks up the hand motions) but the foot part alone will have you dripping.

  23. Let me agree on the ‘World of Goo’ recommendation.

    Let me also add: Boom Blox and de Blob to the mix. And if you haven’t ever played Resident Evil 4 before, the Wii version is the best version of that particular title (if you’re down with the zombie killings, anyhow). All three actually make excellent use of the Wii’s controls without being gimmicky and are excellent.

  24. I heard somewhere yesterday that Wii Sports is now the best selling video game of all time. It beat out the first Mario game I believe.

    My 5 year old niece loves bowling. It took us a while to train her on how to play and move her character around on the screen. Now that she’s learned how to play she’s unstopable. My brother (her dad) groused for hours when she beat him rather dramatically without any help from anyone else. Now he gets really serious when they play together. We even move the furniture around because we all get a little to into to it while playing.

  25. It is creepy how easily the Mii’s can look like the real person. Mine is also pretty spot on.

    And if you want a real work out, try Mario and Sonic at the Olympics. My whole family gave up on it as too hard, but a half hour of really getting into that game and I’m dripping in sweat.

    Got a Wii Fit for Christmas and tried it out once but haven’t had a chance to get back on it (between holiday travels and this stupid butt-kickin’ cold). I’m afraid of what my trainer will say now.

  26. I LOVE Wii Sports! And I find it rather disturbing that the Mii looks so much our real life visage.

    I have to say though.. this post totally cracked me up. You a funny man, Scalzii. ;)

  27. The worthwhile recent Wii games:
    Boom Blox
    World of Goo
    No More Heroes
    Rock Band 2 (360/PS3 better options, but this one is OK)

  28. We (or should that be Wii) are having a lot of fun with the Wii Fit — especially the balance games. I am the Mistress of Table Tilt. Despite this, I am also often asked if I trip over my own feet a lot during the Body Test segment. (Try closing your eyes when they want you to stand still — it helps *a*lot*.) Also, when I step on the balance board, the snotty little thing on screen says, “Oh!” in this really surprised tone. When my kiddo steps on though, it more often than not says “Great!” Sigh…

  29. Highly recommend:

    Boom Blox
    Mario Kart Wii
    Super Mario Galaxy

    There’s a crapton of vintage games popping up on Wii Console… including one of my very favorite games ever, Earthworm Jim, I hear.

    If you like Wii Sports Golf, you may want to try Tiger Woods PGA Tour. It’s a little tricky to get used to the swing, but once you get it, the game is pretty awesome. Also, you can make an avatar that looks like you in a frighteningly CG Beowulf sort of way.

    Mine looks exactly like me in all respects, except it seems impossible to make the eyes any other shape than “Tiger Woods.”

    I don’t know how often you have friends over, but having a full rack of 4 Wiimotes is a good thing!

    Enjoy it, it’s a great little box. Gets more play than my 360 these days, consistently.

  30. My Mii mocks me too with its spot on looks. I’m very similar to Mr Scalzi maybe like a cousin would look. I’ve often thought that I’m a morph of Ed ONeill(Married with childrens Al Bundy), Bruce Willis, and Harvey Korman. Used to throw in Seinfeld’s hair. Now not so much. If your interweebs thing catches on any more, I may have to recalculate my celebrity mix.

    Watching my 1st grader box is a hoot. I’m going to check out the Goo.

  31. Wil “Wiiton”…nice.

    Wil, I played those 4 hours or so of Mark Goodman VJing MTV from 1983, commercials and all, at my 40th birthday (yikes!) party back in November.

    My wife threw me an ’80s themed bash, and we totally did it up. So it made perfect sense to hook up the PC (sorry, Wii didn’t come until Christmas) to the 65″ and watch everyone freak out trying to figure out how I got 1983 into my great room in 2008.

    I sported a sky blue Members Only jacket, a bright orange Atari t-shirt, a black skinny tie, some Vans (sorta), rubber gel bracelets, some white-rimmed sunglasses, a mullet wig, and some totally wrong and embarrassing zebra striped spandex!!!

    Oh we played Intellivision (real deal), Atatri 2600 (emulator), various Mattel handhelds (football, baseball, etc), Merlin, Speak-n-Spell, etc. All the while, downing Tab cola and Pop-Rocks….OMG!

    Anyway, waaaaay off topic, but yeah John the Wii is “swiit!” Now I just need to get the rifle/crossbow thing for Zelda (Link)…Zapper?

    BTW, the John twins are funny. That’s how I roll too, though. I love yelling at my cloned doubles partner.

  32. Catch Jo Koy’s standup on Comedy Central. He does a bit about playing Wii Sports with his Filipino mother that is really funny.

  33. My Mii looks a little like me, but you could also make a case that it looks a little like Bill Clinton, and I don’t look a bit like the former President.

    Maybe I need to make the eyes a little more abstract.

  34. Robin @29: ah, indeed you are correct. Wii Sport comes with the Wii; Wii Play came with one of the Wiimotes. It’s cracktastically addictive (I love the little knit bull racer. It’s dumb, but I love it).

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