Crazy (real-life) Wii Remote tech-support call…

Geek Culture

The GeekMom and I got the kids a Wii for Christmas.  Last night, one of the remotes went funky – you could press the buttons and select options on the screen, but when you went to swing a golf-club, bowl, pitch a baseball or swing a baseball bat, the Wii remote acted like it wasn’t there.  I’m a GeekDad – I can fix this…I know I can…

  • Fresh batteries – nope.
  • Re-sync the remote – nope.
  • Re-sync all the remotes – nope.
  • Reset the remote – still nope.

So, I exhausted all the options for getting a remote to work given on the Nintendo support site and called (with gritted teeth) the customer service line…two days after Christmas.  I expected the worst.

I was surprised.  A very pleasant lady took my call within one minute of getting through the push-button maze to get to Wii Remote troubleshooting.

I explained what the problem was and what I had tried.  She then asked me to check one more thing – the Wii Sensor – which checked out.  Then the conversation went something like this:

Friendly Nintendo Help Desk Lady: "Okay – I want you to take the remote, button side down and smack it into the palm of your hand two or three times."
Russ: "You’ve got to be kidding"
Friendly Nintendo Help Desk Lady: "No sir, do it hard enough that I can hear it across the phone line but not hard enough to damage the remote"
Russ: "You’re sure?"
Friendly Nintendo Help Desk Lady: "Yes, sir."

So, button-side down, the funky Wii remote got smacked in the palm of my hand three times….

…and the thing worked!

Now, why don’t they publish this fix on the support site?

BTW, my six-year-old beats me every single time we play a game of Wii bowling….but from an informal poll of friends/relatives, it seems the youngest person in the family is the best bowler in the family.

[Image courtesy of: Marcin Chady]

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