Game Diary - December 1, 2008: Mom Sunk My Battleship

'Hasbro Family Game Night'Back from the break, I can now say that I've played and beaten a "Tomb Raider."

More importantly, I've gathered more intelligence about how Nintendo's "expanded audience" -- i.e. my parents -- play Wii games.

Observation: The Wii Motion-Plus controller add-on/enhancement can't be released soon enough. People like my parents don't play games every day and certainly shouldn't have to rearrange their living room couches so that they are sitting at angles that allow the Wii sensor bar to read the movements of their Wii remotes. Too much of our time playing a game of Sorry in EA's "Hasbro Family Game Night" was spent trying to get our cursors back on the screen because someone wasn't pointing squarely at the TV. Motion-Plus, make our Wii remotes better. Save us!

Observation: The expanded audience has some tricks up their sleeve. Either the game of Battleship -- also included in the aforementioned "Hasbro Family Game Night" -- is a game of luck. Or… she who was taught to play Battleship by her father, who learned it while serving on an actual battleship, simply had some hidden skills she never taught to her son. Mom sunk my fleet with glee. For revenge, I beat her in a Wii-powered bout of Connect Four.

Observation: Two years ago at Thanksgiving, I played my first video game against my dad ever: "Wii Sports." A year later, he and I and my wife played "Rock Band," creating an instantly cherished memory. This Thanksgiving, after years of occasionally getting mutually fixated on "Tetris" for my NES or, more recently, swapping stories about playing our DS systems, my mom and I finally played a game against one another. Who cares if she sunk my battleship? We played a video game together! Three years ago, I never would have bet on that happening.

Thanks, EA. Thanks, Nintendo. Thanks, mom.

Next: I'm down to my final four of must-play 2008 games. It's "Banjo" time.