Friday, March 28, 2008

Sure, I game

One of the more interesting looks from kids comes when I tell kids that I'm still a nut for video games.

Age must do some magical thing that immediately makes anyone over 30 seem totally uncool. Kids are amazed that I still listen to rap, still listen to Metallica, still play video games, and have no problem with begin goofy. But it's the video games that make kids look at me like I'm nuts. What can I say? I grew up in the generation where video games became a part of the mainstream. Consider this:
-I played Pong at my aunt's house a looooonnnnnnnnng time ago.
-My family owned an Atari 2600, and I played Breakout, Indy 500, and Pac-Man like crazy.
-Then came the wonderful world of the Arcade. Digg-Dug? Centipede anyone? Galaga? How about Tempest? I have fond memories of trips to Chuck E Cheese to spend $10 on Tempest machines.
-Remember Commodore 64? How about a game of Loop?
-Flight Simulator on the old Tandy's and Oregon Trail on the Apple 2E.
-When I moved up to the Sierra Foothills (about 5th grade), I left the world of gaming behind until about 7th grade, when a Nintendo system showed up. Super Mario and Excite Bike!
-Mortal Kombat. My God, I must have spent a rent check with my friend Jake in front of a Mortal Kombat machine at Safeway. Then on Sega.
-I moved to Sacramento after high school and found a comic book store that networked the multi-player first person shooter Doom. Oh my, BFG.
-My first PC brought about the simple multi-player game Sub Space.
-Nintendo 64 brought about the multiplayer Bond games and Starfox.

Eventually I started teaching and gaming took an occasional back seat. I still love a good strategy game; Civilization, Total Rome, Sim City IV. However, two games take my time more than any other, especially on vacations where I'm home alone while my wife still works. Flight Simulator on VATSIM is a good time waster (especially for grading work while you 'fly'), and America's Army, the military first person shooter that is free and actually quite fun. America's Army is ran by the U.S. military and is a huge memory hog, but nothing kills time (pardon the pun) than a nice game of shoot'em up.

Let's also remember that the average age of male gamers is around 33 years old. Games aren't just for kids any more. Oh yeah, and my wife will kick your ass in Guitar Hero. She bought the game for me and then took it over, slicing through the songs to the point of almost owning the entire "expert" category. I'm owned.
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