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The Wii Bowling Project

January 25, 2007 By Glenn Turner

Glorious January! It not only heralds the new year, but it also rings in the new bowling season! Well, at least our bowling season.

Yes, the missus and I are avid bowlers – in fact, we're still on the same team (Thar She Bowls!) and part of the same league that we posted about almost two years ago, and our league just kicked off its first game last week.

This league is a bit different than most: Instead of basing team ranks on cumulative scores, ours ranks using an 'average' based score and winners are instead assigned by how much their score improves over the season. It's a thoughtful way to keep the game challenging and somewhat competitive, while also managing to keep the league laid-back and friendly to people who aren't expert bowlers.

Will Bowling Photo

With the league on my mind all this month, I couldn't help but think of my real-life bowling average while playing Wii Sports. I was quite surprised to see just how closely my Wii Sports bowling stance, curve and scores mirror my actual lane action. In fact, the first time I played it I exclaimed 'we can do our league games from the comfort of our living room!' and the more I thought about it, the more interesting I thought it'd be to see how our Wii Sports bowling performance rated against our league bowling performance.

What unitdaisy and I decided to do was to bowl two sets of games a week: the two games our normal league bowls on Sunday, and on Wednesdays we'll bowl two Wii Sports bowling games. Our league also has very non-traditional (but hilarious) 'bonus games' some weeks, not unlike the Wii Sports bowling challenges, that add additional points onto your team's overall score and can improve your rank. However, as these bonus games are infrequent and may be difficult to recreate via Wii Sport bowling, we may disregard them in the final tally – we haven't quite decided yet.

At the end of the league's season on April 15th (as league seasons go, it's rather short, running a brief 14 weeks) we'll pick apart the scores and see just how well our Wii bowling improved (or declined) compared to our league bowling. Who knows, maybe we'll see some other interesting results too!

While we won't be posting any of our scores until the league is over, we are interested to hear your thoughts or feedback on the subject. This project is meant more for fun and to satiate my own curiosity than an attempt at a serious scientific endeavor, but if you have any suggestions, such as input on statistical comparisons of the games, any improvements on our current arrangement or anything at all, please either contact us or leave a comment in our forum!

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1 comment for ‘The Wii Bowling Project’

#1 MrPoolShot Feb 15, 2010 12:43pm

I too was completely surprised at how realistic the WII Sports Bowling was compared to my real bowling. The more I went through the motions as though I was really on a bowling lane in a real bowling alley, the more my performance mirrored my real bowling performance.
I also thought immediately of how much fun it would be to have a bowling night at the house, a home bowling league if you will, and I have been searching the internet to see if any of the bowling games made for the WII mimic the WII Sports Bowling. I must say that I am disappointed so far, however, the Brunswick Bowling game promises to the the closest.
I want to be able to keep track of scores and stats the same as a league, even considering setting up a neighborhood WII bowling league.
I will keep an eye out for your posts on the subject and look forward to seeing the results of your little project.