Remember back (like one post ago, but in real time, forever ago) when I hinted at the awesomeness that is Nintendo? Well, get out the kleenex to dry your eyes and wipe your drippy nose (or the drool from your mouth) because here comes the recap.
Look at those chics get their game on!
Four score and seven years ago...or about 2 blog posts ago, I had a birthday. Okay...it was longer than that, but less than a year ago when my hubby threw me an awesome Wii-themed birthday party. Everyone who came had to bring a gift that was wii related (not to imply that they all had to bring a gift, but if they did...and who am I kidding...they all had to bring a gift or they were run off the front porch. not). Even Liisa - the love of my life keeper of my frying pan secrets - who couldn't make the party got in the grove and made me an awesome mini-album, fold up card, all scrappalicious holder for my AWESOME Gamestop giftcard to get my wii game on.
Fast forward 17 or so days and the novelty wore off. Aka, Bernadette kicked in and I lost interest.
A little over a month ago (or was that really like two months now - my how time flies), Justine contacted me out of the blue. So out of the blue that I was like "Is this my stalker posing as a new girl in my life or does this woman really have something to say to me?"
What I say next should in no way reflect badly on the strong independent woman that I am. I read other women type stuff like this and I cringe. But the truth of the matter is that I turned to my Microsoft X box game testing hubby and said "Hmmm...check this out. What do you think?"
To which he said "You know...that Nielsen thing didn't work out so well."
Quick digression - Neilsen sucked the LIFE out of me. It made grocery shopping unfun and most folks know I LOVE to shop...even for groceries. But when most of your goods are from the produce or bulk section (or, worse yet, from Costco and in bulk - oh the horrors!), Nielsen doesn't like you so much. I stuck with it for MONTHS of agony. And finally just couldn't take it anymore. Though I did get a healthy appreciation for what it must be like to check me out at the grocery market. I'm so sorry.
Back on track. I replied that Nielsen was work and this would be fun. To which he asked me if I even knew what a Nintendo DS was. Which of course I replied "Yes, it is that little game thing that my nephew threw around the living room in his fits of rage when he visited."
Uh huh. But Justine ALSO forwarded me a link to another chica who was working out the Nintendo Enthusiast BlogHer deal and I thought to myself "Hmmm...this would net me a free electronic device (which I, evidently collect lots of), a great party that I don't have to do a thing for (that part is what you're waiting for me to get to) and, it just might get me to blog more often."
I did get the niftiest little DS in the mail a few weeks ago. And it sat in my box. Well. Actually, I opened the shipping package and this cute little DS box was in it. I opened it and it was the coolest packaging ever. I'll have to upload a photo. The packaging was so cool (little mirror on the box lids, flashing lights, applause audio when you open the lid...the lining is red velvety stuff - very red carpet awesome) I just couldn't bring myself to actually use the friggin' thing. I know pitiful. But then...came the party.
I have to tell you, I was sweating bullets. My people (yes, I'm talking about you) are skitish like that. We live in an alternate reality where last minute invites lead to last minute yes/no/maybe/can-i-bring-my-entourage rsvps and because Nintendo is local, I wanted to show the place up. Then I was notified that awesomeness would be coming not only from Nintendo -Seattle, but also from NYC and I was about ready to fly in my girl Rachel from the city to make it happen too. But then I calmed down and thought 6 degrees of coolness. Which ended up rocking out my party because I met folks who were related/bffs with folks I personally know and it was good to see people out of my normal context of knowing them.
So the party.
Off. the. chain.
Full disclosure here - Nintendo paid for every last thing. From the awesome loft that I actually ALMOST rented for my wedding reception (no kidding!) to the complimentary valet parking that made travels to Pioneer Square for a bunch of young women at night safe to the fantastic spread of snacky foods and beverages that filled our tummies (including the wine cause, it was like happy hour...and hour...and hour...you know). And yes, to the awesome Nintendo DSi's that everyone got to keep (yes KEEP) and the awesome game with their DS as well.
Grown women were jumping up and down screaming and I want to say I also saw a tear drop fall, but I wouldn't hold me to that last. It was definitely a blurry eye...that was for sure.
The service was great for the party part but the awesomeness was honest to goodness in the DS's themselves. I mean really. I'm the queen of gadgets and multitasking but even I was a bit dubious about how you might have a "party" with a bunch of folks sitting around playing individual games. Well, Nintendo can show ya how.
The loft was broken down into 4 zones. Each zone had a different game that you could play (Brain Age 2, Mario Kart, CrossworDS, and Rhythm Heaven). Earlier today, I spent a good hour researching the cool wiki and official sites for each of those games. Now you get to do it because blogger is a hot mess tonight and I'm not trying to break another laptop.
Throughout the night, different areas had different levels of popularity but I'd rank them as such:
Quietest Least Party Interactive - Rhythm Heaven. You had to wear headphones to hear the beat so there wasn't any superflous convo to mess up your game.
Most Studious - CrossworDS. I hang with a bunch of bright women. They were working out the word finds and crosswords like their next raises depended on it.
Most Boistorous Party Central - Hands down Mario Kart DS. Especially when gamers were tagged into each other and racing against each other. Of course this could have been because two of my co-workers in particular were particularly keen to this game - one who specifically mentioned "I would have NEVER bought a DS and I'm so not a gamer but this is so FUN!". Admittedly, I almost didn't invite her because I didn't think she'd want to come. Love ya Kate!
Biggest Line Ego Buster - Brain Age. Awesome game and most folks have heard of it before. Everyone wanted to check their Brain Age. On the system they had set up there, I was like 71. Really now? When I got home after the party and finally set up my DS (I also got Brain Age), I was 36. Awesome. Seeing as I'm thirtysomeodd anyhow. This one had a line I think because beyond testing your age, it has suduko. Had some law folks/financial analyst types present so you knew that was going to be popular with an average finish time of about 15 - 20 minutes for the digression to play Suduko.
The party was really hopping. There was a 5th station where you could start or end up at where you got hipped to all the neatness of the DS and specifically the "i" part. The DS has built in digital cameras (which, I might add, are better than the ones on my flippin' crackberry) and so everyone was spending time customizing their DSs. Everyone cept I cause I left mine at home. Alas.
As each lady went around to the different stations, there were Gamer Chicks (all dressed in black, all gorgeous) helping us get set up and settled in. They were also keepers of the gold coins.
Most guests didn't know WHAT gift they were getting at the end of the night. I had told them (cause they're my people and sometimes they need a bit of a bribe) that they would get an awesome gift. Originally, I thought it would be a charm bracelet with charms they collected at each station. That gift was their very own DS and a DS game (BrainAge for the most of what I could tell). The Nintendo hosts did an excellent job of reminding folks to collect their coins and towards the end of the night, when the cat was out of the bag that the coins were for systems, people stopped camping at their fave games to get up and collect coins.
At the end of the night...with the place cleaned, the music stopped (awesome music with attentive hosts who would skip songs, adjust volume as necessary), and the Gamer Chicks ready to leave, I had to walk up to two last stragglers and tell them I'd never invite them to another event if they didn't get out now.
I think I made about 4 or 5 new best friends that night.
All in all, it was the most awesome party I've ever had my name so prominently attached to. To this day, I still get tons of emails and most of them are no longer "I can't believe you got us free DS's" so much as "What's your brain age now?"
And so you're wondering. I didn't actually open up my DS until after the party. And it was actually my hubby who opened it, took a picture of me napping on the couch for my profile picture and recorded a "song" (if you will) that I get to listen to every time I open up my DS and laugh my butt off to.
I would say that last weekend, with great weather and a moment in the park to wait on him doing his bike ride was the first "real bonding moment" I had with it.
I am ADDICTED to Suduko. That's all I do on my DS and I admit it.
I'm not a fan of Rhythm Heaven (one of the games I got with my DSi) just because I have no rhythm and I don't like to be reminded of it each day. Interestingly enough, it's like Wario Ware Smooth Moves on my Wii (which I LOVE!), but I just can't get into it. Yet. Maybe on a plane with my ear buds in, but at the party I couldn't grove with it.
I'm also not a fan of Mario Kart (another of the games I got with it) because I LOVE Mario Kart on the Wii. I like to race people, not computers and the Wii is designed to be played in community. With the DSi, if I know someone else with a DS (which, now I do) we can get together and play, but alone...it's not as fun to me as Mario Kart on Wii by myself is. That and I've kinda convinced myself that playing Wii is more than just a workout for my thumbs so...
To that, games I'm looking forward to getting at some point:
I totally want to get Mario vs. Donkey Kong March of the Minis for fun and I could totally see using the Personal Trainer: Walking And anything Sims related you know I'm game...My Sims at lunch anyone? Goodness that's a whole other addiction to address. Both My Sims Kingdome on Wii and Sims 3 on the comp.
Perhaps it isn't blogger I should be hating on. Ever since installing Delicious and Windows Live (particularly the latter) my comp has been a hot mess. Totally need to uninstall WL. Used to love WL Blogging. Now it is just too much hassle when Facebook is so easy.