Wiitirement - DatelineCarolina

Wiitirement

By:  Jenny Brady           

            Retirement homes across the country are turning to a new form of entertainment to keep their residents healthy and active.

            The Nintendo Wii, introduced in November of last year, is gaining popularity in retirement communities.  There are at least three of these communities in Columbia and residents are gaining both friends and good health.

            Tom Culbertson lives at Lowman Home and is becoming a pro at Wii bowling.  "It's just fun," Culbertson says.  "We have a lot of fun, competition, just enjoy being together."

            Lowman home has had their Wii since September and residents are getting better every day.  Tom Tuten is also a resident and says the Wii is helping him become closer to his grandchildren.

            "I'm real proud of the fact that I've gotten involved in it," said Tuten.  "My grandchildren are big in this stuff and I like to show off for them."

            The Wii is a game system that lets users create characters called Miis, play video games, and it is even possible to use the internet.  It has cordless remotes that use motion sensors to help players feel more interactive with their game. 

            When bought, the Wii comes with "Wii Sports" which include tennis, bowling, baseball, golf, and boxing.  Bowling is the most popular sport with the retirement communities because of the easy controls and light movement.

           The Wii is also a way for residents to play games that they wouldn't be able to play in real life. 

            "Well I'm confined to a wheelchair and I can play, which helps me," says Forest Pines resident Gertrude Breidenbach.  

            Culbertson isn't in a wheelchair but likes Wii bowling better than the real thing.

            "It's not hard.  You don't have to pick those heavy balls up but you still get your exercise."

            If you think the Wii is right up your alley, make sure you can spare about $250. 

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