Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Has Technology Made It Impossible to Have an Affair?

What could be more family-friendly than a Nintendo Wii, a games console replete with motion-sensing technology and gleaming white purity? Just look at the marketing; the families bounding around the living room, gurning with unbridled joy as they compete with each other at video tennis and baseball.

The message is clear; a Wii is the new social hub, it coaxes gloomy teenagers out of their bedrooms and weans them off Grand Theft Auto. Wii players don't buy trench coats and shoot up the local burger bar. A Wii does not warp fragile young minds. In the Wii family, if little Johnny gets tetchy he can always give Daddy a working over on electronic boxing, no harm done. Wii stands for wholesome, healthy family values. It's even got brain training and fitness applications.

So the recent stories about the man in the United States who reportedly filed for divorce, citing his Wii as a catalyst for his wife's infidelity, would have had Nintendo's marketing Svengalis frothing at the mouth.

Returning from a blood-and-guts deployment in Iraq, the unnamed soldier is said to have plugged in his console, no doubt for some light relief, and uncovered evidence that while he was fighting the insurgency, his wife had been conducting her own secret manoeuvres. You see, a Wii has a gizmo that allows a player to store his or her personal profile, called a Mii. The soldier discovered that his wife's Mii had spent long evenings virtual bowling with another Mii. When he confronted her, she admitted that the mystery Mii was actually a lover. It probably never entered her mind that the games console could be anything but inert.

However, as more and more philanderers are discovering, modern technology has an increasingly unpleasant ability to trip us up, even the whiter-than-white Wii.

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