November 26, 2007, - 8:22 pm

Wii Are the World: Looking for the Hottest Gamer Holiday Gift?; Guitar Hero Sued by Romantics

By Debbie Schlussel
Sometimes I feel like I am a Jetson equpped as a Flintstone (or is that, Flintstonowitz?) in a Jetsons’ world. An example: Even though I’m very good at video games and have excellent hand-eye coordination, I do not have any Wii stuff or other similar gamer software or equipment.
That said, I still keep up with it all. And the hottest gift–stores can’t keep it on the shelves–is supposed to be the Nintendo Wii console. If you’re looking for one, WiiTracker and WiiChat have the tips and info.


Wii Console

Customers are reportedly waiting early in the morning outside stores a lot these days for the new shipments, which are sold out by early morning. It’s like every day is Black Friday. More on the craze here.
Also, a surprise to Nintendo: Wii is hugely popular with the senior citizen set. The Erickson senior living centers have more Wiis than I do. New Schlussel phrase: Wiitirement Community. Uh-oh. You know what that means. When your mom (not mine–no way) starts listening to Eminem, he’s out. So, multiply that uncool factor by ten–or a cool hundy–for your grandma.
Of course, I don’t think that way. I like being partially equipped like a Flintstone in the Jetsons’ world. Or rather, being a Jetson, equipped partially like a Flintstone in the Jetsons’ world. That way I get to watch and comment. And I don’t have the corresponding hole in my wallet.
In related news, Detroit-based ’80s cheese-band, The Romantics, is suing Activision, the makers of Guitar Hero, for using its music in a “sound-alike” recording of “What I Like About You,” without compensation in “Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the ’80s”. My friend, Detroit Free Press music critic Brian McCollum (the only conservative rock critic in the country) broke the story. I went to high school with the younger bro of one of the Romantics (yup–a Jewish guy; Muslims, yet another group for you to boycott).
The suit sounds kind of stupid, though. The Romantics admit that they licensed the use of a cover of the song to Activision. Now, they’re mad that the imitation sounds so much–they say too much–like the actual Romantics:

“It’s a very good imitation, and that’s our objection,” said Troy attorney William Horton. “Even the guys in the band said, ‘Wow, that’s not us, but it sure sounds like us.'”

Sounds like a frivolous lawsuit to me. If I were Activision, I’d countersue and ask for sanctions. But, hey, The Romantics only had two hits from the ’80s–pretty close to a one-hit wonder–and they must be hard up for money now. They’ve filed another lawsuit, which seems more valid–for all the times their music was licensed for commercials and they didn’t get paid.
I am sure there will be some gamers commenting and maybe setting me straight or proving me wrong about something I’ve written here. But, hey, I’m not a well-equipped gamer, as I noted.

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5 Responses

I own a Wii..took me over a month to get one. I ended up paying a friend of my daughters that works at Best Buy to alert me to a shipment. It is by far the most fun console we have bought. Every one of every age likes something about it. I am into the bowling, but I love the Zelda game. The grandkids love it all, hubby loves the Tiger Woods golfing. It gets you off of your butt and doing something. You actually bowl like in a bowling alley. Its a riot. A.Complete.Riot.

DittoDeb on November 26, 2007 at 11:55 pm

Actually Debbie, the appeal of the Wii, is, the “uncool” factor. As I am an IT guy, I have lots of hardcore gamer friends. They think the Wii is a “kiddy” platform. I think they are wrong.
The Wii is a platform for those that want to have fun, not revel in the realism of the game. Most people want to escape reality with games (as they do movies), not engage it. XBox and PS-2/3 are for the “critics”, Wii is for the rest of us.
The fact that is “uncool” is a selling point made quite forcefully in the ads for Wii. That’s why it’s still hot, a year after release, and why the “experts” are still “shocked” it’s hot.
It’s that way in every industry. Advertising and Cleos, Movies and Oscars, Web and Webbies; it’s never about effectiveness or doing the job, it’s about “looking good.” Direct mail is not “cool” but it’s effective. Drudgereport is not “cool” but it gets the job done. Google not flashy, but it works. Nintendo saw a market untapped and went after it. Good for them!
Now if we could just re-import what we exported to Japan — culture of innovation and productivity — we would be unstoppable. Funny how Sony, Nikon, Honda, Toyota, and Nintendo are better at figuring out American’s wants, than American companies.

Mark L. Jackson on November 27, 2007 at 2:12 am

You’re missing out. You should definitely get yourself a Wii 🙂
I love visiting this site… you never know what kind of story will show up here.

cinerx on November 27, 2007 at 4:19 am

Well Debbie you know I’m a gamer. Started when I was 2 around 1983 (or was it 1?) with a Atari 2600. Since then I haven’t looked back…and I won’t name every console I have or played.
There’s a reason why Nintendo Wii is still hot, becuase it dares to be myself. Nintendo dares to think outside the box…like myself. And it tells the world that videogames IS for everyone!
Yes you should get a Wii yourself. Now if I can’t find one at this moment, then I know you can’t find one at the moment.

Squirrel3D on November 27, 2007 at 1:40 pm

The Wii is such a great machine. It really brings people together and makes gaming more physical and (inter)active so the couch potato factor is a lot less.
About the lawsuit, if you look at the song list for the game Rock Star, you’ll also see they have some cover bands on there. My guess? Some of these idiot bands are trying to ask way too much for rights, so they end up agreeing to other arrangements and then cry about it cause they are damn greedy bastards. *takes a breath* Sorry. I’ve been angry at greedy bands since Metallica pulled the whole anti-napster thing back in the day.
Adapt or go under.

Anthony on November 28, 2007 at 12:58 pm

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