cyberathlete

Me, the WiiathleteThose from the field indeed shoot back. In my case with digital camera and weblog. Since last year’s December the 20th, when we first tested the Wii in Munich’s Wii Crib, Wednesday has developed into our Wii evening—now we are kind of regulars at the joint. In our wake meanwhile quite a flock of our institute’s anthropology students has been attracted to the Wii Crib. The day before yesterday our bunch occupied all three machines there and played away the whole evening. Unlike with ‘conventional’ input devices, with the Wii the movements of the player’s avatar are duplicated and performed in meatspace—to a certain degree analogous. What makes this so bizarre and fun to look at is the fact that the meatspace movements completely lack context, quite to the contrary to the avatar’s movements, which are perfectly matching the gamespace environment and the ongoings there in. While playing with the Wii the entanglement of proprioception and perception of avatar and gamespace is even more crossed over than it is the case while playing e.g. a shooter by means of mouse and keyboard. The whole Wii Crib affair of course is a promotional event, and what Nintendo can capitalize on the most are of course pictures and movies of Wii players. That exactly is done on a lot of sites scattered all over the Internet—sites maintained by players and by Nintendo itself. To this ends the Wii Crib Munich has its own weblog, where pictures taken at the Crib are posted. Last Wednesday the Crib’s attendant—or is it nurse?—, a tremendously long-legged girl, caught me in the act of performing an admirable top-spin cross which yielded desastrous impact (point, set, and match). Today an e-mail from just.be, who was also present, arrived and pointed me to the weblog-entry where the nurse had posted some of the pictures she shot on Wednesday evening. Among those is the one above left, accompanied by her comment, “this already looks quite professional.” The irony in all this is, that although I am a genuinely bad player at almost every game, I am indeed professionally occupied with computer games … In spite of all the adversities and shortcomings of the university and the ministry of education above the former, I guess I’ve got the greatest job in the world :-)

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