To make sure you weren’t waving your Wiimote whilst sitting on your caboose, Nintendo offered gamers Wii Games Summer 2010 this Labor Day weekend. Think of it as a prize-driven, national competition where you’ll wave, wiggle and win on Wii and do it all properly under the watchful eye of the Big N. After a sprawling nationwide search for top Wii gamers of all ages, the national championships wrapped up in Redondo Beach, CA in what might have been the first innocuous step in taking video games to the Olympics. And we’re only half kidding here.
Earlier this summer, at Six Flags amusement parks and shopping malls across America (including a splendid event in New York City) gamers were invited to compete in a sort of pentathlon of athletic-themed Wii games. Bowling and Basketball-Three Point Contest from Wii Sports Resort, Hula Hoop from Wii Fit Plus, Mario Kart-Time Trial and New Super Mario Brothers Co-Op Coin Battle would be the battlegrounds intended to represent a nice cross section of first party Wii games that all interested gamers could handle. It seems the complete Wii gamer should be able to flick the wrist while shooting hoops, apply perfect form in bowling, battle directly against opponents using turtle shells and banana peels, work cooperatively collecting coins and work the hips without shoes on on the Wii Balance Board.
Super Adult competitors and ultimately national champions, Bill and Bonnie McAfee, collectively known as McPros throughout the competition, seemed to have the typical experience in getting their shot at the Wii Games Summer 2010.
“We were at the Thousand Oaks mall, shopping, and we saw the Wii set up and heard the guy talking and he talked us into trying out!” said Bonnie.
Lest you think that it was all luck with the McPros, Bill tells a tale of confident preparation.
“We’ve done the bowling. We’ve done some Wii. We have two teenage boys and they’ve done it,” Bill offers.
“They definitely gave us some tips,” Bonnie adds.
The competitors came in six flavors: Super Adult, Adult, Family, Teen, Parent and Teen, and Parent and Child. You had to sign up as a team of two (Family participants signed up as a team of four) and post the highest scores at whatever amusement park, mall or regional feeder event you attended to qualify for the national championships. All 9 Super Adult, 18 Adult, 14 Family, 16 Teen, 17 Parent and Teen, and 17 Parent and Child finalist teams were brought by Nintendo (as in all expenses paid) to the Wii Games Summer 2010 finals in Redondo. If we tried our hand at some algebra to figure out how many actual folks were parading around the event in their fancy blue “Finalist” jackets we’d still be writing this piece using our toes and fingers. Let’s just say there were consistently more competitors than spectators throughout the three day event in the parking lot at the Redondo Beach Marina. Yeah.
Father-son bonding was a common theme throughout the weekend as well. Steve (surnames withheld) and his seven-year-old son Xavier came all the way from New York and had no illusions about the competitive nature of the event.
“I made sure he practiced every day at least one hour on the bowling and Mario Kart,” says Steve about their preparation for the event and making us wish he was our dad demanding that we play video games every day. “He wanted to play other video games so I said ‘You can’t play anything until you practice those two, at least for an hour.'”
Once there, the teams battled through the aforementioned games in the aforementioned order. The point was to have consistency from the qualifiers through to the finals. In two, all-day sessions on the Friday and Saturday of the event, the qualifying teams in each category were to be whittled down to four finalists who would come back Sunday for a chance at some prizes. That is, four Super Adult teams, four Teen teams, etc would be battling to finish in the top three where the loot is earned.
The winners of the six categories would get a home entertainment system from Panasonic (complete with flat screen TV), a Wii console, a year’s worth of first party Nintendo games, a year’s subscription to Netflix and a spiffy gold Wiimote shaped trophy. Second place gets everything except the home entertainment system and also received a silver Wiimote trophy instead of gold. Third place got everything except the home entertainment system and the Wii console and also received a bronze Wiimote trophy instead of spiffy gold or silver.
And without further delay, your winners at the first Wii Games Summer 2010:
- FAMILY: Michael C. (Dad, 41), Amy C. (Mom, 40), Amanda C. (Daughter, 13) and Sean C. (Son, 6) of St. Louis, MO
- ADULT: TJ H. (25) of St. John, IN and Chris M. (26) of Highland, IN
- SUPER ADULT: Bill M. (66) and Bonnie M. (58) of Westlake Village, CA
- TEEN: Frank N. (16) of Wheeling, IL and Zach H. (16) of Belvidere, IL
- PARENT/CHILD: Doug H. (Dad, 43) and Connor H. (Son, 12) of St. Louis, MO
- PARENT/TEEN: Mike K. (25) and Sam K. (16) of Winnetka, IL
We’re not trying to start any conspiracy theories, but something seems a bit fishy in that Parent and Teen category. That must be how they get down in Winnetka. Oh well. Don’t forget, by naming this effort, Wii Games Summer 2010, Nintendo can totally offer a winter version or even another summer version in subsequent years. These are the side effects of naming things so specifically.