From the video it looks like you access help cat by clicking a button labeled “fun”. It makes more sense when you think of it as a “practice using your control” feature, not a “help me find or do something” feature.
Gamers don’t usually access “help” anyway, do they — the fun is getting good at the game before your friends do — there are faster, more engaging ways than reading a manual or slogging through a “help” system — I wonder to what extent this approach can be successfully be applied to business applications — anyone have examples? (e.g., purposefully training people to use an application via embedded routines that on the surface are simply so interesting they invite you to try them).
Yesterday at lunch a colleague of mine showed up with what looked like a novelette — a thin pocket paperback that turned out to be the instruction manual to NeverWinter Nights 2. I think he planned to read it at lunch if nobody else was in the lunchroom.
There is a class of games that is complicated enough to require a manual, but that attracts a class of gamer willing to do so.
The experience design in Wii is simply amazing! The cat thing is an example of this. Things you can tweak, literally, with the twist of your wrist seem to have been thought of very thoroughly in spite of how innovative their interface is.
I think they will do very well as a new platform because they are catering not to the traditional gaming crowd but to the more family-oriented crowd (with their titles and with their interface too).