On December 26th, 2012, four Ticket Liquidator team members visited Connecticut Children’s Medical Center with one mission in mind; to deliver a brand new Nintendo Wii so that children being treated there would have a new toy for the holidays and beyond. The Wii U is Nintendo’s latest and greatest – the first one in the eighth generation of home gaming consoles – and we hoped it would light up some little faces who hadn’t anticipated encountering this in-demand gadget while in the hospital. The idea was hatched by our Customer Care Arbiter, Tara, who, along with the TL Charity Team organized the outing to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (CCMC). Tara was instrumental in donating a gift certificate to Nintendo’s holiday raffle for which we received the Wii U in return. “We knew [receiving the Wii] was a great opportunity to give back to the community”, Tara said, and Marci Lombardo, Development Coordinator at CCMC Foundation agreed.
“We are delighted to receive the extraordinarily generous gift of a Nintendo Wii U from Ticket Liquidator“, Lombardo said, adding, “The Wii helps to bring normalcy to children’s lives while they are hospitalized. For example, playing a game of bowling on the Wii allows for social interaction with other patients, part of what children need to develop into healthy adults. Families enjoy time together on the Wii and patients can also forget where they are while playing Wii games. Electronic gaming systems are both a great distraction and a wonderful tool to ease anxiety and help children adjust to not feeling so well.”
So, what’s all the fuss about here? Isn’t a Nintendo Wii a piece of plastic, the same as any other video game? Well, not quite; the Wii U is the very first Nintendo console to support high-definition video graphics, which is a huge advance on previous incarnations. Speaking of which, the Wii U features backward compatibility with older versions, as well as being compatible with other Wii products such as Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk. But there’s more. Shigeru Miyamoto, designer of this enigmatic new version, is an award-winning director/producer responsible for many of gaming’s household names, including Donkey Kong, Mario, Legend of Zelda and Star-Fox. His work on the Wii U heralds a new era in Nintendo gaming in which the Wii finally joins the ranks of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as a top class system. The children staying at CCMC will enjoy the feeling of playing a state-of-the-art video gaming console right as it breaks out to become the likely leader in its field. It’s never a good time to be sick, but hopefully this gift will help soften the blow.
The controller for the Wii U is called the GamePad. Games may be played either on the GamePad screen or on a television. The GamePad features a touchscreen option as well as the customary D-pads, buttons and sticks. The Wii U was released on November 18th, 2012 along with 23 games that could be played on it – the largest number of available video games on a console’s launch day in history. All of this adds up to some fun for children unfortunate enough to have to stay in the hospital. CCMC is a relatively new hospital, having been constructed in the mid-90s and officially opened on April 2, 1996. The hospital’s sleek modern appearance is the latest and greatest in a long history of Hartford area children’s medical institutions dating back to the late 1800s. Those first “inmates” of “The Newington Home for Incurables” – a working farm – may have been lucky enough to live on the fat of the land, but they didn’t have a Nintendo Wii U!