the games people (try to) play

Standard

 Image

 

If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger. – Frank Lloyd Wright

 

technology has never been my strong suit, to put it mildly. oh, i can open up my laptop with the best of them, and use my cell phone, and text, and email, and write, and listen to music, and even use my electric toothbrush, but when it comes to video games, i realize i am in a totally a one-sided dysfunctional relationship. i consider myself ‘on a need to know and desperate to use level of understanding’ as far as technology goes anyway, and the games really push the envelope. won’t take my word for it? need a bit of evidence? here a just a few examples:

Image

Technology is anything that wasn’t around when you were born. – Alan Kay

years ago, i was super hyped-up when ‘pong’ came out, one of the very first home video games. i found myself so excited on my first turn playing it, that i snapped the joystick right off of its base. all these years later, my brother is still holding a bit of grudge about this incident, as the game was his dream come true, and my parents also snapped, and said they were not replacing it since ‘we’ broke it so quickly.

Image

when one my daughters was quite young, she told me, (as i was trying to share a mother-daughter quality bonding time with her, by playing video games) – ‘mom, i’m not trying to be mean, but it’s not really fun playing these games with you. it’s kind of boring actually, because you’re sort of slow, and you don’t know the shortcuts and your guys always get killed so fast and you have low points and then you are out and i always win.’  

Image

flash forward to more recent times, apparently i have not made a lot of progress in this area.  i played wii tennis against my son in law, and hit him with my hand held thing. hard. by accident. once again, i was a very enthusiastic player. i felt like i was really on the court. soon after, the ‘tapping’ incident, it flew out of my hand and hit and broke something in the room. i was ‘asked’ to wear the wristband to protect us all after that. 

Image

I play the the Wii without the wrist strap, thug life. – Unknown quote

for my birthday this year, i put ‘one hour of random tech support, (of my choosing), without judgement, snottiness, mocking laughter, or a crabby voice’, on my birthday wish list. coincidentally, all three of my daughters individually decided this was not humanly possible for them, as the conditions i requested were absolutely un-doable. they each said they would rather get me anything else on my list.  

Image

my new strategy is to stay one step ahead of the grand babies, as i can sometimes take them in the games at this point, though one is soon to be six years old, so my short reign may quickly come to an end. i’ve decided that i can cross ‘gamer’ or ‘video designer’ off of my list of potential next careers. but – give me a good game of twister and i will show you who’s boss. and perhaps even do so, without judgement or snottiness or mocking laughter, or a crabby voice, though there is no guarantee. 

It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. – Albert Einstein

 

 

 

 

37 responses »

  1. When I was younger, my Mom would play the baseball video games with me since none of my sisters cared to. She wasn’t great at it, but good enough to occasionally win a game or two. And to this day, me and my Dad still occasionally challenge each other to 9-ball on a 25 year old billiards video game on my Nintendo. I feel about as lost as you do with these modern video games… though I’ve still never snapped a joystick off a controller! 😉

    Like

  2. I definitely feel your pain, Beth … I am always amazed if I ever play one of these new video games and usually end up watching the younger person I am playing with do their impression of Edward Scissorhands with the video controller. Give me back Pong anyday! I enjoyed your post a lot today …

    Like

  3. I was good at Pong. I was fairly good at Space Invaders. I was OK at Pac Man. I was tolerable at Ms. Pac Man. Mario Brothers lost me. Funny thing, though, if it was golf or bowling video games I was OK again. Now I would rather go find a real, old-fashioned pinball game. I have always been able to light those babies up. Half game, half sport? I love this post, Beth, because you hit on a bugaboo of our generation. Hey, we were of-age when this stuff first came out, how did the rest of the world pass us by so quickly? I need to know, by the way, did your brother try to fix the joy stick with Crazy Glue? That was another great idea of our time. Until I tried to use it to reconnect the muffler to the exhaust pipe under my ’69 Chevy Nova and ended up with my forefinger and thumb stuck together. Good thing my mother had nail polish remover.

    Like

  4. It’s obvious that you simply haven’t found the right game yet! Keep trying. Sooner or later you’ll find the one that morphs the comments from “How many points should I spot you Grandma?” to “I think Grandma is cheating. She always wins.”

    Even if you don’t find the holy grail of video games, you’ll still be the coolest grandma on the block for trying. Although, the Twister thing may have earned you that title already. 🙂

    Like

  5. I don’t think one hour of tech support is unreasonable. I guess it is the judgmental attitude that keeps it from happening, I often mess something up on my phone and hand it to them and tell them to fix it. They grumble, but usually do. Although the last time, one of them played with my autocorrect dictionary so that every time I wrote and, it was corrected to cupcake. That was funny for a while.

    Like

    • oh, it wasn’t the hour that was the issue, it was certainly the conditions i requested. that is so funny about your phone, and absolutely ingenious. that being said, i can see how the humor in that would wear off quite quickly. )

      Like

  6. Awesome post! I hadn’t thought of Pong in years. I did play video games with my boys, and would sneak off to play by myself while they were at school. My husband was convinced that Mario was my boyfriend. I realized I was getting too competitive when I got upset with my (then) 8 year old for erasing my Banjo Kazooie character. I had almost beat the game, and I had to start over….. it was time to walk away. Still, it was fun when they would come to get me to show me when they got to a new level in Legend of Zelda, or ask me how I beat a certain monster. It gave us a lot to talk about. When the GameCube was replaced by the Xbox, the controllers got too big and complicated which helped me ‘retire’ gracefully from the gaming circuit. I think my sons were relieved that didn’t play Halo. Nothing like mom playing sniper.

    Like

    • so funny, and i love how you tried to train in secret to beat them, and i agree it was fun having them show me something they had accomplished. mom as sniper doesn’t always play well, but who’s to say?

      Like

  7. Tech support here. The great thing about video games, my dear… is they’re made for everyone and if you poke around in a few corners, you can find something around your speed that can impress the kids because all of a sudden their mom is playing stuff that’s maybe above their heads and challenges what the concept of a “game” is.

    I think you can pop on over to tale-of-tales.com and check out some of their interactive art they happen to call “games” for one fine example of what I’m talking about.

    You missed a lovely sale they had on some prototypes and demos that were pretty interesting from an artistic perspective, but their full experiences all come highly recommended. Heck, they have an online game where you’re a deer in a forest and all you do is be a deer with other deer around. No hunters around to try and turn you into food and clothing. It sounds dull as a rock, but it’s not at all.

    If you like exercising your brain a lot more and want to get some typing in, go REALLY old school and poke around here: infocom-if.org/downloads/downloads.html for some ZORK. I think you’ll appreciate this oldie.

    You will be tested.
    You’ll find a good clue.
    And then you’ll be eaten up by a Grue.
    The kids will be baffled
    because there’s just text on screen.
    They’ll think you’ve gone batty
    You’ll say “don’t be mean!”
    They’ll try it and hate it
    I’d bet you a dime
    but for a brain workout
    it’s a darn good time.

    *Ahem* there are dozens of other types of games you can play without feeling like it’s a dexterity challenge or you’re not up to what they’re throwing at you. Hidden object, puzzle (Match-3 games), adventure games (telltalegames.com/ for newer stuff, gog.com or abandonia for more aged works).

    Like

  8. ‘it’s kind of boring actually, because you’re sort of slow, and you don’t know the shortcuts and your guys always get killed so fast and you have low points and then you are out and i always win’ hahahaha

    Like

  9. Ok well, so my little 6 yr old grandson can master that tablet ipad thing but he willfully admits that NOBODY has a more deadly, more accurate fly swatting ability…He is amazed at Grammie’s lightning quick swings and swats and he happily counts the awesome carnage of fly bits when I wield my terrible lethal weapon and unleash that super-power which only the special Grammies behold and possess…oh and the funny fish faces I make…who needs technology when you have me for entertainment..lmao!I know…I’ll have to come up with something much better soon, darn it…too bad they just can’t stay this size a bit longer so we can all feel a little magical a little longer.

    Like

  10. Oh dear, makes me long for the days of SNES. I remember waking up that Christmas morning, and yelping for joy when I saw the box under the tree. Wii, ? What’s a Wii, ? lmao, (just kidding, I do know), but I have become so far a part from this world. It’s become foreign to me, and I now understand my parents!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s