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Live the dream as a guitar hero or a Wii tennis pro
Wii sports and Guitar Hero provide fun family entertainment
Jake DeLong, left, and his sister Samantha play Wii tennis at Wild Wing Cafe in Gainesville. The restaurant offers patrons the chance to try Nintendo Wii games along with Guitar Hero on Monday nights.

Since the Wii gaming system hit the stores, the way people play video games has changed.

And now, the Nintendo interactive game has moved from the basement to the bar scene.

"It started off that all the little kids had it and their parents started playing at their house since they are paying for it and they saw how much fun the kids were having," said Ben Decker, the entertainment personality from Avalanche Entertainment. Decker sets up shop every Monday night at Wild Wing Cafe in Gainesville, where patrons can play the games after dinner.

"Plus it's actually good for you because it gets you off the couch."

Nintendo's Wii is an interactive video game system that lets users' movements control the action in the game. Wii bowling is one of the games patrons can play, along with tennis, baseball, golf and boxing that are included in the Wii Sports package.

The Guitar Hero game lets you use a specially made guitar to beat out popular rock songs. The better you play, the more points you rack up.

Some of the popular beginner songs for Guitar Hero are "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" by Pat Benatar and "Barracuda" by Heart, according to Decker.

Avalanche Entertainment is a company out of Atlanta that provides entertainment to businesses, corporate events and private parties.

The Rock and Bowl event, which incorporates Wii Bowling and Guitar Hero, has been at Wild Wing Cafe for about six weeks, according to Decker.

For the DeLong family, Rock and Bowl was a welcome addition to the children's summertime activities. Jake DeLong, 12, and T.J. DeLong, 16, showed up Monday for some Wii action.

"I've been coming here a lot," said Jake. "It's gives you better exercise than PlayStation."

But Jake added that playing the game at Wild Wing Cafe was a lot different than playing at home - he gets a little nervous.

"You got a lot more people around to watch," he said.

Brother T.J. said the bigger screen at Wild Wing makes it tougher for him, but he had some advice for Wii novices.

"To score big you have to actually get into the game, gotta be serious about it," T.J. said. "Boxing is my favorite; it makes you break a sweat."

Jake attends Chestatee Middle and T.J. goes to Chestatee High in Gainesville.

The ages vary from week to week on who shows up to Rock and Bowl.

"We've had parents of kids get up there, people my age and then 5-year-olds that knock everybody out of the water," Decker said.

Each week, participants can carry scores over from the week before and Decker just goes with what the players want when choosing which games to play.

"As long as they are happy everybody's happy. When they ask me to change it I will," said Decker, who said he has seen other establishments in Atlanta with a Wii night. "Usually it's friends and they play against each other, or with Guitar Hero people will play for points."

Added Larry Brooks, sound technician for Avalanche Entertainment, "The cool thing about what he is doing here is when they do the Guitar Hero they are going through a full P.A. system, like a band does, and it's like the big time. When they make a mistake, it sounds like they are on stage."