Checking in from another two-week gig in Carson City. Joy is with me this time, her birthday is coming up this Wednesday, so I had to bring her. That, and this would probably be the last time I'd be able to do so until April or May. Packing for Joy means carry a whole fuck of a lot more than I normally would, and this time around it also included something new - our new Wii.
I'd always wanted one of these things, but our general state of poverty precluded purchasing anything like that. Then out of the blue we get a phone call from our daughter-in-law Melissa in North Carolina. It seems that she's gotten into the business of being an Ebay reseller, buying lots of particular items and reselling them individually. And apparently, she's pretty good at it. And she tells us that she'd been planning on sending us a Wii for Christmas, but she figured she might as well just send it to us right then and there, with a bunch of games and peripherals. She even threw in a coffeemaker for my folks. And sure enough, this giant package of Wii-stuff arrived about a week later. We got Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort, Wii Fit, EA Sports Active, a Dance Dance Revolution game, DJ Hero, and even a GameCube 'street' soccer game. Joy and I, along with my little brother Mac, tore into the games with abandon. We golf, bowl, swordfight, play hoops, practice yoga, play balance and coordination games, and otherwise work up a good sweat while getting our game on. The package even included a mat for the DDR game, and a pair of MMA-style gloves with pockets for the Wii's Remote and Nunchuck controllers to be used for boxing and other combat-sports games.
But what I was looking forward to was what Nintendo calls the Wii's Virtual Console. With the Virtual Console, we can download original mini-games, downloadable content for Wii games, and most importantly to me, classic games from all Nintendo's old systems, as well as consoles from Sega, NEC's TurboGrafx 16, SNK's Neo-Geo, even the ancient Commodore 64 computer. With the Wii connected to the Station's free Internet, I downloaded Dr. Mario Online Rx for Joy, and the classic NES chestnuts Mega Man II and River City Ransom for me. And with games for as little as $5, the Wii's hard drive (augmented by an SD flash-memory cardslot - that's where the games actually went), I figure that the Wii will become a treasure trove of old-school games pretty quick.
And as an added bonus, Mac sold me his spare Xbox 360 for $40 and a carton of cigarettes. I can download stuff onto that system as well, and Microsoft's Xbox Live service offers it's fair share of classic games, even Atari 2600 and Mattel Intellivision. And I can get games from them for as little as $3 - bonus! In the long run, it means that there's that much more crap for me to schlep around from gig to gig, but at least it keeps me knee-deep in video games. So much better than gambling in my opinion. I may be spending money, but after the initial expenditure, it's all free!
I can live with that.