Watching my classmates play the Wii last week made me relive all of my memories of playing Wii Sports for the first time. I loved the tennis, bowling, and baseball games, but was frustrated by both golf and boxing. One thing that I remembered, however, was the disconnect that existed between the motion of the physical player, and the actual action that the virtual player made. A prime example of this was pitching in the baseball game. If I tried to do a “real” pitching motion in my bedroom, I would always be disappointed by the subpar speed of my fastball. Once I switched to making a fast “twitch-like” motion with the controller, however, I was easily throwing 90+ mph pitches. Thus, I had discovered a sort of “cheat-code” to exploit. When playing, I would think about what the controller could actually “feel” and interpret into video game actions, and would try to come up with unnatural motions that would produce good results. The question I have is, was doing this defeating the purpose of Wii Sports? Or did the developers of the game expect that there would be quirks such as this to exploit.
I would say that, when exploiting the motion controller, I was participating in a nondiegetic operator act. Due to the primitive nature of the motion technology, it interpreted a short “jerk” as an incredibly fast pitch. Thus, while Nintendo wanted Wii Sports to be like playing a sport in your living room, it really became playing a video game depicting yourself playing a sport. None of the “real” motions I had grown up doing while playing the various sport really matched up with what I had to do in the video game in order to win. I don’t know how advanced the technology is nowadays, but I expect that it would prevent one from taking advantage of the motion controller like one could in past times.