A Mii is a personal character or avatar you can create on the Nintendo Wii®. Even if you don’t have games for the Wii®, though usually it comes with Mii Sports®, you can start building Miis. The Nintendo System gives you access to a variety of building tools so that you can determine height, thickness, facial shape, eye, hair and skin color, and a variety of other things when creating a Mii. They can look like celebrities, or just like you, and your Wii® will hold 100 personally created avatars. Even for little kids, creating Miis is great fun, like using a drawing program, but not requiring much in the way of hand-eye coordination.
If you play certain games on the Wii®, your avatars get to play too. For instance in Wii Sports®, your created Miis are the participants. They’ll be your bowlers, golfers, boxers, tennis players and such. If you’re playing any type of team sport like baseball, all the avatars you’ve made show up and play the positions while you control pitching and batting only. Other games that use your characters include Big Brain Academy®.
Your Wii® game controller can also hold a few Miis if you’d like them to visit other Wii® consoles. For instance, you’re able to take your favorite character and play it at a friend’s house, or switch one with a friend, so the friend’s Mii can come and play at your house. With Internet connectivity on your Wii, you can exchange avatars with friends online, or head to the Check Mii Out Channel, where you can show off your Mii for anyone who has access to the channel. Nintendo has even held contests for celebrity look-alike Miis.
Inspiration for these little avatars is actually due to the Japanese folk art creation of Kokeshi dolls. Kokeshi dolls are made of wood, have large heads, and streamlined bodies without arms and legs. The avatars do have arms and legs, but these aren’t always visible in games. Shigeru Miyamoto, a renowned video game programmer and designer had much to do with the creation of Miis, and modeled them at least in part on these dolls, which are so culturally recognizable. Many believe that it’s fascinating to see an ancient folk art form updated in this fashion, and thank Miyamoto for his clever, and entertaining invention.
There are a few complaints about Miis. For instance you can’t choose custom clothing, though you can change the color of clothing. Girls wear a dress type smock, and boys wear a shirt and pants. Some fans would like to see more variety in clothing, more accessories to wear (you can have sunglasses), and slightly better graphics when the avatars are used in games. A few Mii positions in Wii Sports® look a little awkward.