Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Wii Mii
Digital Sculpture

Amidst the fallout from Christmas 2006 stood a slick, white, shiny thing called the Nintendo Wii. If you haven't heard of it, I'm afraid you might be dead. One of the very fun things about this strange little video game machine is the ability to use a variety of eyebrows, face shapes, hair, etc to construct a cartoony little avatar of yourself. So far I've built something for almost everyone I know.

By the way, that's me up there, with myself as a tennis partner in the background, after having completely demolished the competition in a rousing bout of hard fought volleys, spins and blinding-fast serves.

I like the Wii.

If you haven't heard too much about it, the controller is wireless and you swing it in the air just like you would, in this case, a tennis racket. In other games it might be sword, or a surgical tool, or you can aim and shoot with it like a gun. It also served last night as a steering wheel.

For a guy like me who stopped playing video games a long time ago, it's a really simple, easy and fun way to get back into being able to play. At my parent's house, my mom walloped me in tennis and bowling.

What does it mean for art?

Well, as indicated in the picture, a lot. With a sensitive controller, and a list of options, I think (unintentionally), the Wii concept will allow more people to create than ever before. How long will it be before a "Game" comes out that rivals some of the more advanced painting software available right now? Kids will be able to compose images without worrying about the constraints or learning curve of the materials artists traditionally use.

It blows the door open for creativity.

Add to this technology the "hands on" monitor that is being seriously developed in California, and the way we look at art and the process of creation is going to enter into a new phase. What will that mean for we, the backwards, traditional artists?

Not too much. The more virtual things become, the more there will be a desire for the item made by another human hand, that need for physical connection. In the same way that I have sometimes used the computer to help me make quick colour choices in turning a sketch into a painting, these new technologies that might surface will simply be another tool in the workshop.

Speaking of the workshop, I really ought to get back to work...after one more game.


Tavi said...

Had I observed this virtual tennis player without seeing the author of the blog I would have said undeniably that it was a virtual Aaron.
Wow, it really does look like you. The kids(T,J,J,A, and A)all just looked at it without seeing your banner and they said it was you. Can you send photos of everyone else's Wii characters?

Aaron Paquette said...

I'll see what I can do...