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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

How to Get A Free Wii

The first thing you need to do is have two kids. And they have to have been born between 2004 and 2009. So you’ll probably need a time machine. Which means you’ll want to get in touch with some Libyans that hang out in Hill Valley…

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Recently, The Missus and I bought a Wii, thus invalidating my theory that the Wii never actually existed.

Backstory on that joke: My only-half-joking theory was that the Wii was actually just a clever marketing campaign for a nonexistent product designed to create the ultimate in artificial scarcity (what’s scarcer than a product that doesn’t exist?) and drive Nintendo’s stock price through the roof. Anyone who claimed to actually have a Wii was in truth a guerilla marketer employed by Nintendo to fool people into thinking the Wii was an acual product.

That may have been the case three years ago, but today the Wii actually does exist, and we have one.

And we didn’t pay a thin dime for it.

If you want to replicate our success, you have to go back to 2004 and conceive a child.

Why? Because if you have a child in the infant-to-toddler range, chances are you bought baby Tylenol. And as you should be aware, baby Tylenol has been recalled for nebulous reasons that certainly don’t warrant a class action suit. Nope. Not at all.

But the makers of Tylenol will reimburse you the cost of any baby Tylenol you’ve purchased prior to the recall. That reimbursement netted us $60 cash money.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. $60 doesn’t buy a Wii. It barely buys a controller for the Wii. So where did the rest of the money come from?

Well, that leads to the second thing you need to do: Wait for Gamestop to have a sale in which they offer you an additional 50% on all trades. Under that condition, you want to dig out any systems you haven’t used in a year or more (in my case, a PSP and a GBA), and every game you own for them (25 and 14, respectively). You also have to have a wife that will do the same (in her case a DS and about a dozen games)

If you do that right, you will have enough cash and store credit to buy a Wii, an extra Wii-motion-plus controller, an extra nunchuk, two classic controllers, a Wii Fit Plus bundle, $40 in Nintendo Space Bucks, and an 8GB SD card (from Sandisk, not Nintendo. Just because it’s free money doesn’t mean I’m going to be stupid with it)

You’ll note that this doesn’t include any games. That is, as you Wii owners out there know, because there aren’t any.

Well, that’s hyperbolic, sort of. It’s widely understood that the Wii is not a system for Gamers. The Wii is a Family System, capital F capital S. That means games that we can play as a family. So single player games are pretty much out, which is fine because A) they don’t make many good ones anyway and B) I already have a system that is superior to the Wii in the Single Player library (the PS3). Basically, if two or more players can’t play at the same time, it’s probably not a game we’ll consider for the Wii.

Of course, I’ve heard that the new Mario games are more cooperative. Unfortunately, my experience with Super Mario Sunshine and Paper Mario for the Gamecube completely and utterly soured me on Mario games made after Nintendo moved to optical over solid state media. There are only so many times you can kick me in the balls before I stop spreading my knees.

So while we will probably be picking up games like Elebits and Raving Rabids, there won’t be a lot of first-person-shooting or platform-jumping.

There will, however, be lots of Zelda, a Link to the Past-ing and F-Zero racing, as well as some Starfox 64-ing, because Starfox 64 was the pinnacle of the brand. And we have a number of games for the Gamecube that I’m sure the kids will enjoy once they’re old enough.

For now, while waiting for the kids to get old enough to play, my wife and I are enjoying having Bowling night without the rented shoes.