Wii, the people…

I am just a little dismayed at the hype surrounding the latest “Game Consoles du jour” – the Sony PS3 and the Nintendo Wii.

  • Not because I want one – I don’t do consoles. With five computers, I have neither the need nor the time.
  • Not because I refuse to do business with Sony.
  • Not because Nintendo’s latest offering sounds like someone is taking a leak.
  • Not because game consoles are now, for the first time, more expensive than a computer (albeit a basic one).

Part of this “grave disturbance in the Force” is the number of people who are buying these items and then reselling them at massive profits – just this morning on Craigslist I saw someone asking for $900 for a PS3. Nine hundred bucks for a game console? Sheesh!

The worst thing is how much effort parents are willing to expend, and who they are willing to kick down and knock over, to get these gadgets for their kids before Christmas. People, you love your kids, but it’s time to put an end to this playground one-upmanship, combat “spoiled-brat” syndrome and, most importantly, show a little of the backbone and character that Parenting and Christmas are all about.

In other words, just say “No“.

Or at least “Wait” – every year there is a hot new console – last year it was the Xbox360, the year before it was the PSP (remember the Dreamcast?). This year’s “$500 toy will be $400 by next summer and $300 by next Christmas. Look at Xbox 360 and PSP prices if you don’t believe me.

It will do them good. Really. Not getting everything on their list will not traumatize the little darlings. Think about the Christmases of your childhood. What do you remember most fondly? I will bet that it wasn’t the presents; it was the time spent with family and the experiences you shared. Give them time and attention – those things will be remembered long after the toys and games are gone and forgotten.

If you want to see what children can do, you must stop giving them things” – Norman Douglas, British Novelist

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