The One Where I Ran Away from Home to Play Video Games & Watch Star Trek

Last week, while Robert Pattinson was busy moving out of the love nest he once shared with Trampyre, the folks at Nintendo took pity on this pregnant, tired, and inappropriately moody momma and helped me run away from home to play some video games on their new Wii U system, which is set to be released during the 2012 holiday season. One could call the timing a coincidence and they would be absolutely correct.

They flew me to DC, and I stayed long enough to sufficiently move the needle past nerd and into the full-on-geek-out region of the meter, but not so long that my child began asking random women on the playground if they were her mommy.

But I had escaped, and after a very long but interestingly narrated tour of the furthest reaches of DC by way of the airport shuttle, I made it to the room I would be sharing with absolutely no one. And the first thing I did was…

take a half hour long shower without interruptions followed up by this for 45 minutes. Forget Fifty Shades, this is real #mommypron

After that egregious violation of the Mom Clause of my contract, I was invited to go to ‘Pinterest in Real Life’, or what locals (and the owners) call Lincoln – a newer restaurant located a few blocks from my hotel. The floors were literally  tiled in millions of pennies, the tables were upcycled aging barrels, and the ceiling of the lounge where the Nintendo Brand Ambassadors gathered looked like this…

in this poorly lit photo you will see mason jars come pendant lights hanging from the ceiling. But, try as I might, I couldn’t find the repin button anywhere in that room.

After calling it an early night and making my way back to my hotel room, narrowly missing a run-in with a guy whom I am sure was drunk enough to have earned a promotion at work the next morning, I jumped into my PJ’s, ordered croissants and hot chocolate up to my room, and then sat in front of the AC vent while sipping said hot chocolate, and watching Star Trek: First Contact. And then texted the Mister…

The next morning I had a chance to try out the new Wii U system and some of the demo games that will be released with it later this year. Nintendo didn’t fly my round with child ass out there only to eat, shower, and abuse the air conditioning. I know. Shocking.

At the Wii U Experience lounge, the other brand ambassadors and I joined a whole group of gaming enthusiasts from the area who were invited by Nintendo to try the system out.

My cohorts for the trip – most of whom are more gamer chic than gamer geek. Photo courtesy Brand About Town

My thumbs got sore on a few games that took advantage of the wireless game pad, including Super Mario U and a couple of titles from the Nintendoland game. The coolest thing I see about the game pad is that you could simultaneously play a game and have your television tuned to another input, so I could be all “Super Mario U” and my husband could be all, “Football” without giving one of us a reason to not put out that night.

The game pad also makes the system a little more social and more accessible for the mini-gamers in your family who are being groomed for gaming proper because of the opportunities for complimentary play. For instance one person can be helping out Mario as he makes his way through a level by building steps while bitty-gamer is playing the Mario character, and some games use the pad for different actions like in Zelda where the traditional controller is for sword fighting and the game pad is for archer actions.

While it’s been getting some mixed reviews from hardcore gamers, from a mom who likes to geek out with their family’s perspective, the game pad is more than just a gimmick and gives the whole family an opportunity to get involved in play while using the Wii U.

And then I went home.

That sounds much easier than it was. The real-life version starts with me getting to the airport a painful three hours early and spending time next to every lady of a certain age who has a penchant for perfume and olfactory damage. It continues through weather delays and cancellations, makes a detour with me getting into a fight with a woman who looked suspiciously like Sid Vicious and claimed it was okay for her to cut in front of me in line because she had an unnamed disability. And wraps with me telling the guy who looked like he was considering an offer of lugging my pregnant ass over his shoulder to save himself as we ran through two 35 gate concourses to make a 5 minute connection window. See, ’cause it was after that when I actually made it home.

Bumping my taped up glasses up my nose,

**Gratuitous Statement that Keeps the FTC in a Happy Place: Brand About Town, on behalf of Nintendo, provided transportation and accommodations during this event so I could share my undiluted and unsolicited opinions with you about the Wii U system of my own accord and choice.**

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