Hard News by Russell Brown


Wii Too

Our friend Chris has loaned us his Nintendo Wii while he's away on holiday. It's really cool. It may come as a surprise to some readers to know that while I maintain a professional interest in video gaming, I don't play. Partly that's because I don't have time, but also because even a little button-mashing starts to trigger my latent OOS symptoms.

The boys are different, of course. Last school holidays I arranged for them to spend a couple of hours romping in the Xbox room at Microsoft and the younger one was all set to order in pizzas and camp the night there.

But the Wii? Even I like it. It's small, it's not trying to take over the world and it's really innovative. The genius is in the controllers: infra-red remotes packed with motion sensors, speakers and LEDs. You don't sit hunched over them, but wave them around. By the time I'd been through the Wii Sports disc on Sunday, playing golf, tennis, baseball and bowling with my son's friend, I was drenched in sweat.

And yes, like this reviewer, I was actually quite sore the next day. Still, at least I didn't draw blood, and we don't have a ceiling fan. There is now a website dedicated to Wii-related carnage.

So there I was, feeling pretty good about the Wii and then there's this, a demonstration of just how criminally fucking stupid commercial radio contests can be.

An LA radio station ran a contest called 'Hold Your Wee for a Wii', in which contestants had to drink more and more water without urinating. You may be aware that this is precisely the cause of most ecstasy-related deaths. A nurse called the station during the contest to warn that this was a very dangerous thing to do, and was mocked by the DJ. And the second place-getter, a 28 year-old mother of three, who was not warned of any risk, died. Someone needs to go to jail for this.

Finally - and in a rather awkward segue - we're in a position to afford some tuition this year for our Asperger Syndrome 12 year-old who is very bright but can't presently cope with school. I'm particularly interested in someone who has some skills in teaching with Alice, or in other forms of introductory computer programming. If you're that person, or know someone who is, feel free to get in touch via the "reply" button below.

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