Contestants twist and turn, controlling an animated vehicle on the split screen in front of them. Faces contort. A cry of frustration is heard. A little body English is added. Suddenly Dakota Utter, 12, the oldest of the racers, has his vehicle cross the finish line.
The activity was part of the Thursday afternoon Wii gaming event at the Monett Library. Leann Rosewicz, children's coordinator for the library, said the Nintendo Wii games continue to draw groups regularly. She has had as many as 12 turn out to participate.
Utter said Mario's Cart, which includes the racing option, is his favorite game.
"It takes hand-eye coordination, memory and knowing where you're going to be a good racer," he said.
"And good driving skills," chimed in Makenzie Utter, Dakota's sister.
The boxing and tennis games are the hardest, Dakota said, but skills increase with practice.
Rosewicz said participants have to take turns when she has more than four playing. The games are relatively inexpensive and run off a projector. She has looked at adding "Guitar Hero" and "Band Hero" to the battery of available games.
As other children see the games run in the library conference room, they line up to take part. Rosewicz stayed busy directing traffic, switching to different games and keeping the players engaged, knowing that every good experience keeps patrons coming back to the library.
For more informationa about Wii gaming at the Monett Library, call 235-6646.