Wii’s and social gaming

I was watching my girlfriend’s nephew today try and get his Wii to work. I suppose I’ve missed out on this current generation of games machines, mainly because I know I don’t have the hours in the day to play them (and memories of being very, very addicted to Final Fantast VII).

Anyway, to get to the point of this blog. When you first load up a Wii, you are confronted with many menus, one of which is where you can load up a ‘space’ where all the avatars that can be used in some of the multiplayer games are (I think it was wiisport). Inside this very cute virtual space are the avatars, each customisable and nameable. As if to underline how precise the whole thing was, we looked at the avatar of my girlfriend and her mother, both done at sepeate times, but with the same facial features.

I was struck by the interactivity of the experience – how this boy had made an image of his family and friends in a small place. It was another social use of technology and what I also thought was significant about it was that everyone in the family was then talking about how they’d come to create avatars and how they’d used them in playing the various games on offer.

Its marvellous to see videogames becoming much more of an overall experience for all. I’m not sure quite what this has to do with education or my own teaching, but it struck me as somehow being linked to the two. It’s something I intend to turn over in my head over in the next, rapidly approaching, working week.


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