11/30/08 — Age makes no difference in Wii showdown

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Age makes no difference in Wii showdown

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on November 30, 2008 2:00 AM


Sixty-six-year-old Flora Taylor, left, and Kacy Servis, 8, play Wii bowling at the Senior Center last week during a competition between the seniors and the children from the youth center on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

It was life experience versus youthful video game savvy at the Wayne County Senior Center Wednesday, as six seniors took on a group of children from the Seymour-Johnson Youth Center in a Nintendo Wii bowl-off.

Tonya Cedars from the Eastern Carolina Council on Aging was rooting for the home team.

"My bet is on the older adults," she said.

Her daughter Lily, 7, said she thought the seniors would be difficult to beat.

"I haven't been on my Wii in a long time," she said.

The other young challengers arrived with Larcene Mines, the school age program coordinator with the base's youth center. Mrs. Mines contacted the senior center about hosting the inter-generational event.

"We do all kinds of community service," said Mrs. Mines. "We try to interact with the retirement homes, Meals On Wheels, we try to be involved."

The six kids, all children of military families, jumped right in.

"I have one at home," insisted Kacy Servis, 8, as she helped set up the Wii options for the bowling game.

A lot of her teammates did as well, judging by the helpful comments that came from the crowd. Ms. Servis admitted to being a little nervous.

"I can't be under pressure when I'm playing the Wii!" she said, as she prepared to bowl with the remote.

Servis missed a few pins on that roll and had to pick up the spare.

"What did I tell you?" she said, as she handed the remote to her opponent.

"Most of the kids are very good with computers," said 66-year-old Flora Taylor. "I said, 'I don't have a chance.'"

But the game swung heavily in the seniors' favor after that as Mrs. Taylor racked up a run of five strikes in a row. She won the match against Ms. Servis 234 to 168.

Miki Etheridge, 73, also pulled out a win.

"Just by the skin of my chinny-chin-chin," she said after the 123-111 victory.

Mrs. Cedars' prediction proved true as experience trumped the Millennial generation.

"To me, getting the older adults and kids together at any time is a wonderful thing," said Ms. Cedars.

The senior center's Nintendo Wii is a great tool for helping the older adults be active, said Angela Garner, a data entry associate with the center.

"The best benefit is just the exercise, it gets them moving so they're not just sitting there, and they really enjoy it," she said.