Way back in 2006, the Wii came out. And I got one that very same week. I don’t remember if I wound up standing in line for that one – actually I think I might have gotten it through some sort of online deal, though it’s all a bit fuzzy. I remember how I felt, though: I was so excited , so sure that the Wiimote was the way of the future, so much more intuitive than punching buttons.
Cut to today. The Wii U was released a few weeks ago… and I didn’t even know about it until launch day. Granted, I was preparing at the time to travel back into the world of dial-up; still, normally I would have been following something like this for months. Besides, even knowing it’s now available, I have no plans to purchase it. A part of me feels a twinge of something akin to guilt. I may not be a video game expert, but they’ve always been “my thing.” Am I somehow betraying my geek self?
I guess this is growing up… or not
It’s true, I haven’t been playing consoles much recently. The XBox was only turned on last week, after laying dormant since July. My original, functional Nintendo isn’t even in the living room anymore. Neither is my Wii. Really, I ought to give the Wii to some deserving family member, because that hasn’t been played in years.
But then I shake myself and tell myself to snap out of it. First of all, I’ve always been a one-console-at-a-time kind of gal, mostly because that’s all that was available to me: I didn’t grow up with much money and I was lucky to have any video games at all. I’ve never been the type to own fifty games, just a few that I really liked. I did get the 360 and the Wii at the same time… and then the Wii went mostly unplayed. It’s just the way I am.
Secondly, I am still playing video games, but most of the allotted time goes to World of Warcraft, on my computer. It’s still consistent with my video game monogamy, I suppose, only it’s a computer instead of a console. Really, I haven’t “grown out of” anything; I’m probably still playing the same amount of time I always have. For me, video games have always had to share time with books and movies and trashy TV.
But more importantly…
What the hell is up with this geek guilt? Am I a caricature of my interests, or an actual person whose pastimes wax and wane? And should I be blaming this self-consciousness on the never-ending “geek girl” drama? No, as fun as it would be to troll The Issue That Refuses to Die, I don’t think that’s it; if anything, it’s my old demon, the inner hipster. I feel like I should be on top of every facet of every interest I have, even when I don’t find it that interesting.
So perhaps the real part of growing up is not putting away the console, but remembering that it’s okay to not fire it up for months at a time; to be comfortable with the fact that being a “geek” might mean hunting down a game one month and looking up the historical accuracy of slang in Downton Abbey the next. For years, being a geek meant liking what I liked, enthusiastically, even if sometimes it didn’t conform with what was popular; that means popular with other geeks too.
But about that Wii U
Why am I not purchasing one immediately? Well, like I mentioned before, the Wii hasn’t gotten any play for some time now. Most third-party games are available on all consoles, and as of yet I don’t know of any game that’s compelling enough to warrant buying an entirely new console.
Now, I do remember the slow burn of the DS, which eventually spread into an extremely popular wildfire – but that was after developers had time to come out with tons of games, and the device itself was on its second iteration. I’m not declaring Wii U dead in the water; I’m just waiting until I feel I’m missing out if I don’t get it. And that, in fact, might be due to maturity a little bit – it’s less important to me nowadays to be an early adopter because, y’know, money.
So if I am, in fact, missing out with the Wii U, here’s your chance to tell me about it! Have you purchased one? Are you planning to? And am I the only one who occasionally has random geek angst?