Wii Devastation and Wiiproofing

One of my housemates got a Nintendo Wii and, I have to tell you folks, it really is the best thing to happen to video games in ages. I've been playing a lot of Wii Sports and Zelda: Twilight Princess, both of which are phenomenal games that I recommend; I also highly recommend Excite Truck, which takes great advantage of the Wiimote (controller). I haven't had this much fun playing video games in a very long time and, considering how much I like video games, I'm saying a lot here. Twilight Princess is so much fun that I've logged about 34 hours within the past week and I haven't even been side-questing very much.

Wiimote takes out our TV

As much as I love the Wii, my point in this post is not to sing the praises of the Wii but to warn you of the dangers and suggest possible preventative measures. There have been a number of stories propagating their way about the internet about people throwing their Wiimotes into windows, televisions and other people. Nintendo's response to hearing the people have been throwing controllers into televisions and such has basically been to tell people to hold on the controllers. Prior to yesterday, I would have, and did, scoff at those idiots that broke their crap but that would have been before yesterday. Yesterday, I was playing Wii Sports bowling with a few of my friends; we were using one Wiimote between the four of us and since the transitions were fairly rapid, we weren't bothering to use the wrist strap (big mistake). One of the housemates I was playing with *cough*Paddy*cough* lost control of the Wiimote and threw it into our wonderful 51", rear-projection HDTV. The front surface of our TV was 0.093" PMMA (a.k.a. Acrylic or Plexiglas), which is a fairly brittle and not very tough material. Needless to say, a Wiimote thrown fairly hard at a thin sheet of PMMA results in a pretty big crack (see image). A broken HDTV is a very sad thing, especially when it's your TV.

So there we were with a cracked TV so, clearly, the thing to do was pull it apart and fix it. It took me a while to get the thing apart but eventually we had TV bits all over the living room floor and I'd gotten that PMMA screen out. Having pulled the PMMA out at about 2am and having no replacement on hand, the parts were left sprawled out in our living room. First thing (1:30pm) today, I went off to Home Depot with the responsible party and another so as to obtain a nice big sheet of 0.093" Polycarbonate (a.k.a. Lexan), which is about three times as expensive and about thirty times as strong (impact strength) as PMMA. After a bit of time cutting the sheet of Polycarbonate down, a bit more time putting the Polycarbonate in the screen and a bit more time reassembling the TV, we have a functional 51" HDTV. Additionally, Polycarbonate is what's used for bulletproof glass so hopefully that'll make it Wiiproof too.

So, the morals of this post are: 1) make sure that you always use the wrist strap, and 2) replace your screen with Polycarbonate or put a sheet of Polycarbonate in front of your TV.