Pins And Needles Of The Brain

As you may be aware, I’ve gotten to be very good at Wii Sports Tennis. My rating at the main game is now so high (about 2200) that the line representing my progress breaks free from the top of the graph and is beginning to underline the title at the top of the screen. It’s so un-challenging to play computers (and most humans I’ve played) now that I instead started playing the "Targets" training game, where you have to bounce a ball off targets appearing on a fragile wall, where I’ve now got a top score of 84 targets (I got my platinum medal some time back). As you can probably imagine, I’ve been looking for a new challenge.

Last night, I found it. I’ve set myself up two new characters – one left-handed, one right – and, holding two Wiimotes (one in each hand) I play a co-operative doubles game with myself. Controlling two players on the same side with different handedness suddenly makes the game more challenging again: I’m not ambidextrous, and the act of playing as if I am makes the inside of my head tingle in an unusual and curious way.

It has it’s advantages, to play like this: people who’ve played the conventional single-player game, controlling two clones using one Wiimote, will know of the frustration caused when trying to swing for the ball with one of your players cripples your ability to hit it effectively with the other (who’s still recovering from the last swing which both players took simultaneously), and it doesn’t take long before you start taking braver, chancier shots, of the kind that you typically only do when you’re working co-operatively with another human player on your side. Nonetheless, it’s very challenging to bridge the gaps in your hard-wired "handedness" and get the same kind of dexterity out of your left hand as out of your right.

I find myself missing more shots with my left hand, but I’m getting better. My two new players for "two-handed" play are half-way to a "Pro" rating, and they’ve only lost one match so far (the first match I’ve lost at all in a long, long time). It looks like I’ve found a new challenge.