You know how mom bloggers are supposed to lead these fabulously swag-filled lives, like the story of Lyss Stern, who reportedly received $45,000 worth of free dental work in exchange for some publicity? (That’s some expensive grill, huh? My chemo drugs were that much. I can’t imagine anything you can do to teeth being worth $45k)
Anyhoo, there’s been much written about the blogger swag train, and about the FTC’s crackdown to make sure mom bloggers in particular divulge whether the thing they’re writing about was provided for free. (Never mind that magazine editors don’t have to do the same, and yet I’ve seen their cubicles filled with all sorts of goodies.)
I have written about things that I’ve received for free, but the problem is that I don’t write reviews. Instead, I write about things that fit into my life. So, if for example, someone sends me Cleatskins, like the folks who make them did, I’ll write about them if they fit into the story of my life. (I love mine because they keep me from wiping out in the supermarket after practice, though I would not have chosen pink for myself.)
After attending mom blogger events, I’ve made videos about meeting Kelly Ripa and about how Bobby Flay saved my marriage. But then I’ve been to some events where I didn’t even so much as tweet it. It all depends on how it fits into my world.
I told my friends at Nintendo, who often send me cool stuff, that sure, I’d host a party in which we’d play Wii Party and eat pizza courtesy of the Domino’s gift card they supplied. We are big Wii fans here, so it seemed to make sense for us. Except it didn’t.
It wasn’t the Wii Party part that was the problem — it was the party. There was no time in our busy, busy October (National Pizza Month, you see) to gather a bunch of people together and play Wii Party. The closest thing we came to it was the half-hour the boys played it with their friends before they left for the Teen Canteen.
And yet we played it. Or rather, they did.
“Mom! I’m on Level 31!” my seventh grader announced one afternoon. He was playing one of Wii Party’s 80 mini-games, some sort of puzzle game that I wound up helping him traverse. It involved strategic planning and critical thinking, so I didn’t mind that he had worked himself up to Level 31. He wasn’t sitting there mindlessly blowing up things, so hey, enjoy kid. And then finish your homework.
Wii Party has a bunch of fun games, none of which I’ve tried, but I’ve seen my kids playing them as I pass by. One called Globe Trot, where you earn coins while collecting pictures around the world, looks fun. And I could see how Bingo would be a blast for a group of people. My kids have never played Word Bomb but it looks like my kind of game, involving coming up with a word in a category while passing around the Wii remove before it goes “boom.” Check it out for yourself. It’s Rated E and it retails for $49.99.
Anyhow, we didn’t have a party, but Wii Partied. Or my kids did. Now we just have to order the pizza.
Note: I received the Wii Party game and the Domino’s gift card for free, but the opinions stated here are all mine.