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Nintendo's "Mario Kart Wii" at Union Station Today

Mike Musgrove

Some folks from Nintendo's public relations team are in town today showing off the company's new "Mario Kart" racing game for the Wii at Union Station.

The video game company is the middle of a 12-city tour to drum up some buzz for its latest title, and is, at the moment, letting anybody who comes by try the game out for a while at several TVs the company has set up. The event lasts till 8 pm.

Funny thing: When I stopped by this morning, there were more grown-ups than kids in attendance. But they seemed to be enjoying the game as much as any kid.

Raj Aggarwal, founder of a visual communications firm in Adams Morgan called Joint Concepts, brought his entire 6-person office down to the event to check out the new Wii game. He doesn't own the game console, but he's thinking about getting one for the office.

Aggarwal, 32, said the morning's field trip is a "team building" exercise. "Everything is, if you look at it the right way," he joked.

A couple of stations away, two colleagues from a nearby Capitol Hill office were going head to head. "You know I drive better than this," groaned Joanne Brown to her colleage, Paulette Brown (no relation) as they played the game, in which players "steer" their game characters with the game's motion-sensing controller snapped into a steering-wheel that comes with the new video game.

Both women have owned Wiis, though one of them gave hers away to her grandchildren this past holiday season. Neither woman had heard of the game before seeing the Nintendo tent set up at the Metro station this morning, but they both seemed interested after having given it a spin. "I have to get this game," said Paulette Brown after winning against her colleague a few times.

As I was leaving the event, I overheard one guy on his cell phone checking in with his significant other on whether they have enough of a budget to buy the game system.

He didn't get a green light on that proposal, but he said he is strongly tempted to pick up the Wii anyway. "I'm going to be in the doghouse for a week," said Illya Smith, who is 39.

See some of the action from the day here:

By Mike Musgrove  |  May 8, 2008; 11:46 AM ET  | Category:  Mike Musgrove
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