What My Grandpa, Who Loved the Wii, Thinks of the Wii U
In 2006, those of us who bought the Nintendo Wii to play Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess were shocked to find the console was loved by EVERYONE in the family. Here's a picture of my grandparents, playing Wii Sports, just a few weeks before my grandma passed away.
Her heart burst when she Wii-bowled a 300.
Now, my grandpa told me he continues to play the Wii to this day, over six years later. So with the recent release of the Wii's successor, the Wii U, I wanted to see how a seasoned elderly gamer would like the new console. Here's what happened when my grandpa tried out the Wii U.
Creating a Mii
First, my grandpa was instructed to create a Mii. I don't think he ever got around to doing this on the old Wii, so this was the first time he was confronted by the illustrations of seemingly-Japanese men. These immediately put him on edge. At first I thoguht it was because my grandpa's a World War 2 vet, but it turns out, he's just racist. But you can't get mad at an old man for being racist any more than you can get mad at the sun for shining, a bird for singing, or a baby for being racist.
Getting into the Miiverse plaza
Once I created a Mii for him really quick, my grandpa found himself in the middle of the Miiverse plaza. this is the early menu where all the Miis of your online friends congregate before you enter a game. The big bubbly heads made the Miis look, to my grandpa's aging eyes, like children. And whenever my grandpa sees a large group of children assembling he assumes they're protesting something. Seriously, we walked past an elementary school the other day and he couldn't grasp the fact that the children playing tetherball couldn't debate him on the ethicacy of the Vietnam war.
We finally got into Nintendoland, the Wii U's pack-in game. Since he really just played Wii Sports on the Wii, I assumed Nintendoland would be the extent of his Wii U experience. But even that turned out to be too much for him. That f*ckin' game opens by teaching you how to MOVE with the left stick and CONTROL THE CAMERA with the right stick! Can you imagine a man learning how to CONTROL A CAMERA with a joystick at eighty six years of age?! You might as well ask a bumblebee to write a college thesis.
Breaking everything, including the original Wii
Clearly, the Wii U is not the simple, intuitive experience the Wii was. EVERY aspect of using this new console frustrated my grandpa, to the point where he decided he had to BREAK it. He went out to his tool shed, and after coming back in and asking me what he was looking for out in the tool shed again, he went back out and returned with a hammer and destroyed not only the Wii U but the old Wii as well. And when I say "he destroyed them" I mean he feebly tapped them with the hammer before handing it to me and saying I needed to "finish the job" while he took a nap.
Going out for ice cream
Since this Wii U experience had so angrered my grandpa, I took him out for some ice cream, because literally nothing settles down an old person like ice cream. While we were out, he told me that he really wasn't angry about the Wii U, he was angry because playing the Wii U reminded him of the time he spent playing the Wii with the woman he'd loved. It reminded him of how much he missed her. So then, instead of listening to my grandpa's thoughts on how this new generation of consle held up to the old one, I listened to him tell me about my grandma. His wife. How she used to write notes in the margins of all her books. How he still finds her thoughts whenever he reads. How they were so poor she could only make hot cocoa and toast for dinner, and how even when they were stable, they'd still have it for dinner on Sunday nights. And how she used to giggle when she'd beat him in Wii Tennis.
I did have to leave when he started talking about their sex life though. I don't know my grandpa is able to get home on his own, and frankly I don't care.
What do you think your grandparents are going to think of the Wii U? Let me know on Twitter at @mikeyfromsu or in the comments below!