It’s a Wii and Nintendo culture, and too many Minnesota children are losing touch with the real world beyond the family room and big-screen TV.

Studies show our kids fish less often, find parks tedious and even fear spending time in the woods. Camping is becoming a lost art, and more adults and children are rejecting outdoor recreation in favor of virtual entertainment or organized indoor activities. Bird watching doesn’t come up a lot on MySpace.

In his book “Last Child in the Woods,” author Richard Louv argues that nature is so important to physical health that its absence should be considered a disorder. “Nature deficit disorder describes the human costs of alienation from nature, including diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties, and higher rates of physical and emotional sickness,” Louv explained in a recent issue of US News and World Report.

This is where the DS comes in handy! You can take it with you to the wilderness, with the Bald eagles and Big foot, and play some Mario Kart or Zelda.