Thursday, September 17, 2009

Don't Wii On Me! Gingerism from Nintendo?

A family member's on vacation - and in addition to looking after his dog for a few days, we've taken temporary ownership of his Wii as well.

Despite being a big kid at heart, I've managed to avoid getting a gaming console since coming to America - and if you want to know how I occupied my time without one, the fact that I have a baby should answer that question!

However, despite finding other ways to occupy my time, I'd always secretly fancied a Wii. It's the only gaming console that uses kinetic controllers - as in, you wave and waggle them about to control your on-screen avatar. So much more fun than sore thumbs!

Finally, club your family members in the face with a plastic controller - all in the comfort of your own home!

So yesterday, I finally got to try the Wii out for myself - and it's AWESOME.

I played Wii Sports - where you use the controllers to play on-screen sports like tennis and baseball. The tennis game is great. Waving your controller gives you surprisingly deft control of your character's backhand and it's alarmingly addictive to play!

Without exaggeration, this You Tube clip probably sold more Wii units than any amount of Nintendo advertising!

But one thing angered - nay infuriated - me.

When you play on the Wii, you play as 'Mii' - a little onscreen character you can design to look just like you (if you were related to a Weeble.)

Creating the Militant Ginger 'Mii' - although something's not quite right...

You can pick your character's height, width, skin-tone and facial features and even pick their hair style...

...unless you're ginger.

Notably NOT ginger!

Yep, using the on-screen options available your 'Mii' could resemble pretty much any demographic. African, Asian, Indian or Aryan. But there was a conspicuous lack of 'ginger' in the hair options.

Even Rob Zombie has a 'Mii.' But of course, he's just a talented, sociopathic filmmaker - not ginger!

You could go for 'brown' or you could go for a sandy 'yellow' but there was nothing in the middle. My 'Mii' looked nothing like 'me' because his hair color was resolutely not-red.

Hair color options - NONE OF THEM GINGER! Not even a LITTLE BIT!

I'm horrified! Disgusted! Appalled and enraged! Nintendo, what kind of gratuitous gingerism is this? Shame on you!

I am forthwith writing to Nintendo USA to demand something be done about this. As a so-called Militant Ginger, I can't let this slight pass unpunished!

An Open Letter to Nintendo, USA

Nintendo of America, Inc.
Redmond, WA

Dear Sir, Madam,

Recently, I was fortunate enough to finally get to play Wii – and I absolutely loved it.

For years I’d been looking for a way to suck at tennis, bowling and golf in the comfort of my own home and now, thanks to Wii Sports, I can finally do that.

But despite my initial enthusiasm for waving my arms around in my living room - knocking furniture over, scaring the dog and making my 14-month-old son stare at me like I was a lunatic – I have encountered a very serious and offensive oversight built-in to the very fabric of the Wii.

Enthused by my first experiences with Wii, I attempted to use your ‘Mii’ editor to create an avatar who looked like me. Although I was able to approximate my imposing height, athletic build and rugged, yet sensitive good looks, when it came to mimicking my striking red hair the Mii editor completely failed me!

There was no ‘red’ option available in the hair color box! Just a choice between some crappy chocolate brown and a muddy yellow color that’s suspiciously similar to the paint-job on my ’89 Lincoln Town Car. Neither one does the job. I’m a proud redhead – in possession of flaming ginger hair that’s as unequivocally orange as Paris Hilton’s fake tan.

I find this oversight disgusting and racist!

Mii conspicuously makes almost any possible variation of skin-tone and facial feature available to users – meaning anybody from an albino to an African-American can perfectly reproduce their Mii-likeness on Nintendo. Almost anybody, I should say – because we redheads are insultingly excluded from this so-called ‘all-inclusive’ editor!

What if you’d left out options for Asian people to make realistic-looking Miis?

Okay, that’s a really bad example, since Nintendo is Japanese, but you get my point!

My red hair is a result of my proud Anglo-Scots heritage. My ancestors – and their Scandinavian forebears – proudly roamed the northern seas raping and pillaging in order to perpetuate our proud ginger race (and possibly make up for some deep seated insecurity issues – I’m still researching that.)

Between 2% and 6% of Americans are redheaded, so it’s disgusting that Nintendo would so purposefully exclude us from creating our own Mii likenesses to enjoy your games with.

Frankly, the pleasure of sucking at Wii Tennis, or being completely crap at Wii bowling, or even the delight I take in remaining resolutely hopeless at Wii Golf, is diluted by the fact that whatever Mii I choose to represent me onscreen is a pale (well, paler) imitation of my glorious ginger self.

I am affronted, antagonized, bitter, chafed, choleric, convulsed and all sorts of other words I found on

I demand satisfaction!

Therefore, it is essential that you amend the Mii editor immediately to include an option for red hair. If you fail to do that (or fail to buy me off with, perhaps, a free Wii, wink wink) I will not rest until your offensive oversight and callous attitude is publicized across the nation!

Redheads of the world unite! (Bring sunscreen)

Roland Hulme, a.k.a. Militant Ginger


Neil said...

I could make a comment about the fact that when you create a Mii you can be whatever you want, so who would want to be ginger anyway, but I won't. ;-P

mre30seattle said...

the Rob Zombie Mii also looks like the Dude from The Big Lebowski.

I love the Wii Fit. Wii Ski with the fit board is great!

laurelai_1 said...

You sir, are hilarious. Enjoyed this Mii post very much! I also noticed that my Mii couldn't have red hair and was pretty disappointed as well. Down with Gingerism!

Anonymous said...

PS3-controlling phone launched in Blighty -

Anonymous said...

I just purchased a Playstation 3 a couple of weeks ago. I got a couple of good games for it too. I wonder what good full games are worthy of downloading from the Playstation store?