Saturday, December 19, 2009

Children of All Ages.

Wii Fit, by Nintendo of America. I chose the Wii Fit for this past Library Arcade program because I heard there was a snowboarding game that I thought the kids would like. The snowboarding game is actually one you have to unlock, which we never got to. The slalom skiing and ski jump were available at beginning game play, though, and they are good games. I was surprised by how fun some of the Wii Fit games are. The box I'd seen in the store showed 2 people jogging in place, and a lady doing yoga. Boring! But there are some cool games, especially some of the balance games, that aren't really too much of a work out but offer the opportunity to use the board to play the game, which is a really cool new experience. Playing with feet! One thing to be aware of before you try to set this up in front of a group or in a classroom: before you can actually get to the games, it needs to weigh you and blabber on about what your BMI means and put you through all these center-of-balance exercises. I couldn't find a way skip it. So before you embarrass yourself in front of a big group, set it up before they come in and have it ready to go. If you have the stuff necessary to save your progress, it wouldn't take very long, it seems, to unlock most of the game options. I don't know if it would make you weigh yourself every time if you did save stuff. You may need to explore. P.S.: Although I thought they'd like to ski/snowboard, they ended up doing something unexpected instead: after about half an hour of play, one of the girls wanted to do her favorite, a hula hooping game. For the next 1.5 hours, the group (mostly boys) competed for best hula hoop score. Hah! Generation A, by Douglas Coupland. Meh. As I told a patron, this is both the best and simultaneously the worst book I've read in at least 4 months. Parts that were the best: I really like the author's writing style: excellent use of commas and sentence length variation, and interesting format-- the chapters rotated between first person accounts from each of the 5 main characters as they experienced similar or the same events. As part of the plot, the characters were made to tell stories they made up, which was an interesting way of 1) including cool short stories that otherwise wouldn't be heard, and 2) using another story-telling method to give us insight into the characters. For those reasons, the book was awesome. Parts that were the worst: the sci-fi wasn't very sci-y. The author wished me suspend belief, but I was unable to, because the story was based in a near-future-real-world, and yes, some things are different, but some things aren't. Case-in-point: the main characters were stung by bees, and people in the book believe it is because the bees are trying to tell us something or because those people had something in them that called to the bees. Bees sting when they are threatened. It is a reaction, not a way of thoughtful communication. Although the characters were cool, this basic item, which was the reason for the entire plot, was stupid and pointless. Also, the ending just kind of flew together in an unexpected way. Not unexpected in a good way, like "wow, what a surprise" but unexpected in a bad way, like "did I skip a page? Did some paragraphs or, you know, whole chapters get cut from the manuscript here?" It was one of those cases where it seemed that the author felt like the book should end, and he knew what the eventual ending would be, but couldn't string where the book was to where it was going, so just spit out some goop that he hoped would be the literary equivalent of plot glue. It wasn't.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thank you very much for letting us know about books that are not very good. i really appreicate it.