Man whose name is Wii has better life thanks to Nintendo

People may say to him “Hi Wii, going home to play with yourself?” but 26-year old Wii Yatani certainly has a better life now that his name is more commonly associated with Nintendo’s hardware than a juvenile term for hardware of a different variety.

With a name like Wii, the son of Japanese parents had an understandably tough childhood in upstate New York. “When I was growing up, I had a pretty difficult time,” he told MTV. “I just found when I was introducing myself to people, it was a little awkward.”

Thanks to Nintendo, however, Wii’s name has become far more acceptable. He received an email from his brother in 2006 that read: “Holy sh*t, the Nintendo is named after you!” Yatani even tried contacting Nintendo to strike some sort of deal, but so far The Big N has been unresponsive to his suggestions. Regardless, he feels far more proud of his name these days.

This story is actually quite a striking example of Nintendo’s mainstream success. In both America and England, “wee” has had very obvious connotations (though I understand they have differing meanings.) That Nintendo has been able to almost completely replace the original meaning of the word to become the first thing people think of is quite an achievement, and a strong, if bizarrely immature, indication of the company’s dominance.

Jim Sterling