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March 30, 2007

New cruise amenity: Wii video games

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano at 11:16 AM

Norwiegan Cruise Lines announced yesterday that it will be outfitting all of its ships with Nintendo Wii video game consoles. The move speaks to the multi-generational appeal of the next-generation console, which uses a motion sensitive controller that people newer to video games find easier to handle.

"With its active, engaging and inviting game experiences appealing to every age from kids to parents to grandparents, the Wii from Nintendo is a natural fit for Freestyle Cruising," Colin Veitch, the cruise line's president and CEO, said in a press release. "With the addition of Wii to our on-board activities, we can now offer bowling, boxing, golf, tennis and baseball across the entire fleet. Cheering, yelling and high-fives will be highly encouraged."

The consoles will be in public places equipped with large projection screens. The ships will hold tournaments and other events around the Wii, the cruise line said.

This New York Times story talks about the different ways seniors are getting into video games, including a retirement home where nuns play Bejeweled. A spokesperson for Seattle's PopCap Games, which makes Bejeweled and others, conveyed these statistics: "71 percent of its players were older than 40, 47 percent were older than 50, and 76 percent of PopCap players were women."

Our own Kim Peterson wrote about the trend of baby boomers playing casual games a few years ago.

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