Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Why Santa Won't Be Bringing Us a Wii

Junkie. Addict. Slave to the Game.  These words describe me in a completely without a trace of hyperbole regarding Video Games.  Like most addicts my problem goes way back.  Way, way back to 1981.

My brother and I didn't lack for anything growing up.  I would even venture to say that we were spoiled to a degree. Thing is, we didn't go without, but sometimes what we went with was a step or two below what we really wanted.

All my friends had the Atari 2600. Awesome. All those cool games.  I was so jealous.
We had Intellivision:
It was cool.  I loved it.  I played it all the time.  I learned everything about poker from Intellivision.  That may explain why I don't play today. "Double Down!  Double Down!"

Seriously, it was better than the Atari.  Better graphics, probably retailed for more than the Atari.  Don't let that lead you to believe that my mom paid full retail for it. She rarely paid retail for anything.  JCPenny Outlet Store was responsible for  a good chunk of my childhood toy collection.

The Intellivision didn't have the game selection that Atari did.  My biggest regret is there was no Pitfall.

Intellivision isn't the point here, but I've got to talk about it for a while.  I had some friends who had it, too. I don't know if their mom told mine or mine told theirs, but we spent a lot time together playing Intellivision.  Golf, Football, Skiing and Baseball are the games that I remember playing the most.  They were fun.  The keypad and disc hand control worked good, as long as your fingers weren't covered in buttered popcorn residue.  It was a lot different than the 2600's joystick, and it inspired some trash talking from the Atari owners.

Right, so back on track.  Video Games and why the Benefields won't be getting any consoles for Christmas.

I've told the Girls that we're not allowed to have a video game console because, "Daddy has a problem with them."
R - "What kind of problem?"
Coco - "Are you allergic to 'em?"
Me - "No, I can't stop playing them once I start."
R - "What do you mean, you won't let anyone else play?"
Me - "No, I just won't stop playing.  Or if I do stop playing I keep thinking about it until I'm playing it again."
Dear Wife (DW) - "It's true. He would get up in the middle of the night to play a game."
R &  Coco  "WHAT?!?!?"
Me - (nodding my head sadly) - "It's true."

And it is true.  Once I start a game that has any kind of level I can't/won't stop.  And it's not because I'm good and I want to get through the levels really quickly.  I've never been very good at video games.  At birthday parties as a kid when the Mom would give everyone their $5 in quarters mine would be gone first.  It was terrible, but at the same time it was AWESOME.

                  So after Intellivison, well, Intellivision II,
I had a little break.  I would break it out every once in awhile, but after you've played some of the greater arcade games Mattel's video game doesn't hold much of a candle to them.

Flash forward to college.  My last year not quite-last year one of my roommates had a Nintendo.  I don't remember which model it was, but what he had was Street Fighter 2.  We played that thing FOREVER.

I could probably calculate the ratio of time spent playing that to time not going to class.  Did I mention it was supposed to be my last year of college?  Hours and hours and hours.  Talking trash, drinking 2 liters of Coke and having my man, Blanka kick some serious a$$.

Each of the housemates had their own character. Most of them knew secret codes that would make their characters do crazy things that would knock their opponent out.  Me, not so much.  As I mentioned earlier, I'm not really good at video games.  I just pushandclickandpunchandpushandclickandpunchandclick and I'd win some.

After graduating and moving on I somehow got my hands on a Star Wars computer game.  My computer at home wasn't powerful enough to play it without shutting everything else down, so I took it to school and played after I finished grading papers the kids left until I went home. Crap! It's 5:00 already!!! Luckily some punk came in my room, rifled through my desk and took it from me.

When DW and I were doing Yellow Dog Folk Art one of our artist friends gave me a copy of some version of Halo. Oh my dear Lord.  I played that game constantly.  I would literally play until DW told me to stop and go to bed.  Then I would wake up in the middle of the night and play.  For hours. For. Hours. No strategy mind you.  Just play.

So Santa will not be bringing the Benefield Girls a Wii, or an X-Box, or a Kinnect, or even a retro Atari 2600.  Because that's a beast that doesn't need to be fed, and there's a hunger lurking inside of me just waiting until I let my guard down.

Luckily, the only games The Girls are interested in are the Just Dance/Dance Fever variety, and fortunately unfortunately I don't dance.  It's one of the Things I Can't Do.  Although, if I got one of those maybe I'd learn some moves...

1 comment:

anna said...

I was unaware that you were playing video games at work and not coming home. hmmmmm