November 22, 2010

Wii Party Like Bad Bad Leroy Brown

"Well the south side of Chicago
Is the baddest part of town
And if you go down there you better just beware
Of a man named Leroy Brown"

Sunday was what you could call a watershed day for the blog. You see for the past 6.5 years of my blogging career I have ignored opportunities to try and court brands. I have ignored the PR pitches that have come through. With the exception of the WebAds banners that have been running here I have done nothing to monetize this place.

I write because I love to write. I write because it is a big part of how I vent. I write because words help define Jack. Don't you just love it when people refer to themselves in the third person.

Don't ask me to tell you why I didn't push for monetizing this joint sooner. The answer is a simple because I didn't and because I was irritated by the way a lot of other bloggers did it. I looked down my nose at them and sneered because I thought that they were unprofessional and that they cheapened it all. Read through the archives and you'll find my thoughts.

Anyway, to quote my grandfather, there comes a revolution. And in this case the revolutionaries convinced me that there wasn't any reason not to be open to working with brands and agencies. In what you could term a great coincidence around the same time I decided to open things up I was asked to become a brand ambassador for Nintendo.

And that my friends is how I found myself hosting a bunch of friends at a Nintendo Wii Party at the 'W' Hotel in Hollywood. Cosponsored by the American Heart Association the gang and I spent time playing Wii Sports Resort and using the Wii Fit Plus.

Did I mention that I was excited to have the chance to play these games with adults. It wasn't because I lack for adult conversation but because the damn kids have been kicking my ass. I figured that the big kids would be like me, just semi proficient. Imagine my surprise when I got my butt kicked by a 38 year-old ringer.

We were playing Wii Sports Resort and engaged in a duel. I sincerely hope that no one taped it because if they did you will see the two of us swinging wildly at the screen, not to mention that some guy who looks like me kept making that light saber noise and talking about the Dark Side of the Force.

Anyhoo, we took a break for lunch and listened to Hank Wasiak talk about Asset Based Thinking and followed up with a panel that included a dietitian and cardiologist.

Go to Hank's site and spend a few minutes reading about him. He is an interesting guy. The cardiologist and dietitian were solid. I appreciated what they had to say, but frankly I knew everything that they spoke about. In a different life your old friend Jack taught CPR and First Aid so I had some need to know a little bit about health and the heart.

But I also am well versed in this because of my father's heart attack and the impact it had upon me as a son and a father. It is a very personal reminder that I need to be aware of my own mortality and my health. I have been good about exercising regularly and lousy at dieting.

The talk at the 'W' was a reminder that I need to focus a little bit harder on my diet. And the laughter that was generated from screwing around with the boys on a Wii was a reminder that I like playing Wii with my kids. It is not  as good as getting outside on the bikes or running with them on the soccer field. I don't see it as a substitute for "real" exercise.

Nor can I say that boxing on the Wii will teach you how to survive an encounter with Bad Bad Leroy Brown either. However it is a good supplement. It is possible to work up a sweat and it does offer teaching moments.

More importantly is that it provides the opportunity to play a game with the kids, family moments. And that is something that I can always get behind.

DISCLOSURE: As part of my role as Brand Ambassador. Nintendo provided me with a Wii Fit Plus kit and the Sports Resort game.

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