Brenna Ohmes has a pretty good handle on the difference between playing tennis in real life and playing tennis using Nintendo Wii.
"In real life, the ball can actually smack you in the face," she deadpanned.
While Ohmes, of Niles, admits that playing tennis using Nintendo Wii is harder than playing real tennis because of the difference in depth perception, the virtual reality game allows her to play the sport on a wintry January afternoon.
Cari Hosey, 13, of Niles, plays Nintendo Wii on a recent afternoon at the Niles McKinley Memorial Library.
However, the 13-year-old was not playing the game in her home or at a friend's house, but at the public library. The unusual aspect of this is not lost on Ohmes, who frequently spends time at the Niles McKinley Memorial Library.
"Usually, libraries are just about books," Ohmes said.
The library in Niles is not the only place to capitalize on the popularity of Nintendo Wii. Area bars like BW3s and senior centers are among places making the gaming systems available.
When you go ...
After-school program at Niles McKinley Memorial Library: Thursdays 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
The Niles Library has incorporated the Nintendo Wii into its teen after-school program, said Scott Ronghi, generalist librarian who specializes in teen services.
While the program provides a safe place for students to be after school, the library also has an underlying goal to eventually get the students interested in reading and using the library's references, Ronghi said.
"At least that gets them into the building," he said.
Gaming at the library is trendy and may entice the kids to come to the after-school program, Ronghi said.
If gaming is trendy, then the Hubbard Public Library is the trend-setter, since Ronghi said the Niles library modeled their after-school program after the one at Hubbard.
Brady Nappi, youth coordinator at the Hubbard Public Library, said the library purchased Nintendo Wii last year to be used with The Commons, an after-school program. Out of 700 to 800 kids per month who attend the program, maybe 300 per month play the Wii, Nappi said.
Like Ronghi, Nappi said the Wii and after-school program gives the kids more incentive to come to the library.
At the other end of the age spectrum, area senior centers have incorporated Nintendo Wii into their programs. The Warren SCOPE Senior Center has used Wii for four to five months now to help individuals with balance and coordination, said Debbie Zador, PAS coordinator.
"It provides a lot of beneficial exercise," Zador said.
The seniors are working with bowling, since it's a game that's familiar to them, Zador said. While the center eventually would like to put Nintendo Wiis in all six branches in Trumbull County, the game has begun to attract some regulars in the Warren location.
Two women are always ready and waiting to bowl using Wii, Zador said.
"I'm happy to report that one of them bowled a 202 yesterday," she said.
Patricia Johnston, service coordinator at Tod's Crossing in Warren, said that their senior center hopes to have tournaments with the Warren SCOPE once Tod's Crossing gets its own Wii.
Though Tod's Crossing offers Bible study, crafts and bingo, those activities don't require movement, Johnston said.
Nintendo Wii would help seniors both physically and mentally, she said. The seniors just started a computer class, and once the center gets a Wii, bowling would be one of the games that the seniors could start playing.
"This is not just, 'Oh, let's play bingo and have lunch,'" Johnston said of the center's philosophy.