Fast forward to 2003. In Kyoto, we went into an arcade -- mostly out of curiosity. We got a few 100-yen coins to play, and we did a few games together, such as Taiko Master and the Star Wars podrace game.
Off into one corner was a machine that only had a screen -- no joystick. It had a large metal gate in front of the 'play area', and a stick was held in a holder next to the machine. Curious, I put in my 100 yen, and took the stick. It turned out to be a first-person sword game. On the screen, I could see two hands holding a sword -- just like I held the stick. Countless zombies came towards me, and I had to stab, slash and block, using the stick as my sword. Very cool, and I drew a bit of a crowd while playing it. Needless to say, I didn't last very long, but after I was finished, other people wanted a go too.
My experience with that game was the prime motivator to get a Wii: motion-based controls would make it possible to recreate that 'virtual katana'-experience in your own living room!
When we got the Wii, we also bought Red Steel, but that was more of a shooter than a sword simulation. A bit of a let-down, though still lots of fun.
Yesterday (one day early), klik gifted me with Samurai Warriors: Katana. It's a sword-fighting simulation, and you get to swing the Wiimote just like a sword!
If you read the reviews, you will find that most people find it too easy, or a bit repetitive. And maybe it is. But this marriage of sword-swinging and the mindless slaughter of countless enemies is really, really fun!