in journalism

A broken TV tastes like eating crow

I’ve been meaning to write a post about all the stupid articles and references to a couple people that have tossed their Wii controllers so hard it broke their television. I’ve been playing about 30 minutes a day for the past week and having a controller slip out of your hand just seemed ridiculous. I was so confident in this assertion that I took the leash out of the remote when I first set it up. I noticed a bunch of blogs linking to the broken TV stories and the press seemed to glom onto it because it’s a funny new angle they can deflate the Wii hype with. You’d have to be a total spazz to not only need the leash but also break it, and then break your TV too.

Blogs and newspapers both love to do this: find a silly outlier story to discredit/attack/mock a new trend. The “you’ll hurt each other playing a Wii” and “you’ll break your TV!” stories definitely fill the bill and allow a pundit or blogger to scoff at anything interesting, new, or innovative in something like the Wii and just make jokes about it. I’d also say jokes about the Zune coming in brown or Microsoft employees calling file transfers “squirting” is doing the same thing to the Zune: overshadowing the actual innovative feature that lets you share songs with random people nearby (I’ll never own a Zune but I wish my iPods could do that).

Anyway, this is just a long way of saying last night I was playing the training part of the Sports disc, where you can bowl with up to 96 pins. You have to throw the ball as hard as you can, and while doing this the controller slid clear out of my hand. It banked off the fireplace in front of me with so much force that it bounced directly up into the ceiling where it hit hard and bounced back down. It missed the TV above the fireplace by a couple of inches.

So I guess the moral of the story is you should really use those little leash things and I’m a bigger spazz than I thought.


  1. I scoffed too, but then laughed as every. single. player. (including me) consistently came inches from punching the screen while boxing.

  2. Phew! Till the very last second I thought you had actually broken your TV.

  3. people just aren’t used to throwing themselves around to play games.
    unless you played old skool nintendo back in the day. then you know all about getting hurt for the sake of the game.

  4. I keep my wrist-strap cinched religiously. I know how clumsy I am. But man, the Wii gives me a workout. Boxing especially. It’s amazing what dodging tennis balls in training mode can do for my heart rate. I wish I could figure out how to make the controls more responsive during boxing, though…

  5. I too scoffed at the reports, and then the first night I was trying to pick up a tough spare and I lost the controller for a bit, but was able to grab it before it really slipped. I believe that little thread can break now, too.

  6. i didn’t see it either, but the bowling game is really the clincher. i’m not very good at it, but people that are really put their weight into it. my brother was over for thanksgiving and was “throwing” the ball with so much force that i thought for sure the controller would fly out of his hand any second.

  7. I still haven’t seen the controller, so forgive me if this sounds really stupid, but could you just put some grippy tape along the edges of it? Handlebar tape, for example? Would it completely ruin the aesthetic to have some running along the edges?

  8. when we were playing bowling at your house, the controller almost slipped out of my hand since i was moving my arm so hard (sitting on the couch) but i was too embarrassed to say it out loud. somehow, it seems ok now.

  9. but no-one has ever said that they broke the wiimote, they always pick it up and keep playing, well unless it killed the TV :-)

  10. Hi, well i’m brasilian and i speak english so so.
    but there are some ‘english words’ that i don’t know.
    and i didnt understand somethings..
    Do wii remote really break TV’s? Because i want to buy a Wii, but if this is really truth.. i’ll buy a sony ;p
    Can someone answer me?

  11. I just had this happen to me last night. I was practicing bowling for about an hour. I had the wrist strap on, but I guess I had a really “awesome” follow-thru because the remote went flying and cracked my brand new, big screen LCD TV. Totally unwatchable and extremely expensive to fix. This SUCKS.

  12. Yeah well my 8 year old son busted my lcd two days ago via wii controller. My wife was the witness, yes wii controllers are lethal to anything in the way!!!!!

  13. You got really lucky..
    My kid broke mine a few months ago. I’d pick up a screen protector if I was you.. You never know when that strap is going to break (which happens). I picked one up from a place called tv armor.. so far so good..

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