So, I have always hated video games. When I was a kid, I didn’t have any. No tv, either (which meant I didn’t see all the commercials for stuff, and not seeing things helps you not really want them. Also, I liked books and my backyard. It was a good childhood). But twice a year, my dad had this gathering celebration thing with this group, and all the kids there would gather in the basement of the hosts house and play Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat and Mario Bros. And I hated it. I didn’t know how to play, and didn’t particularly want to know, and had to either sit there and watch these kids fight over whose turn it was, and argue about best combination codes, or go upstairs, and listen to boring adult political talk. The food at these things was awesome, otherwise I would have rebelled and not gone. So, that was, for years, my main impression of video games. A lot of my frustration stemmed from the fact that I didn’t know how to play, and found watching someone else play to be really boring. John plays a lot of video and computer games, and I had just accepted that I’d read or watch stuff I wanted while he did that.
But then. About a year and a half ago, I was over at Tenaya and Alex’s house. Alex is a big video game guy, has all the different systems. And somehow this topic came up, and Alex said, hey, I know a game you might like. It was Katamari. And holy crap, I liked it. It’s silly and easy. Limited controls. It looks funny. Frogs and cows try to run away from you. So, I bought a ps2. Specifically to play Katamari. Then I was hanging out with them again. Little Big Planet. It practically teaches you how to use the controller. And you can create your own little dude. And then I was there another time, and they pulled out Fable II. Different controller. But it was fun. And it looks really good, it’s a nice visual world to run around in.
And then John was buying an xbox, and I saw Ratatouille. I loved the movie, and was kind of curious, and it was a ps2 game, and I like that controller better. So I got it, and it’s awesome. I’m probably halfway through, but it’s pretty great. Easy to play control-wise, not too many different things to do, but fun things to go through. (it’s hard to explain without getting all specific about missions and how to jump and all (x. xx for a high jump with a flip. Do you have any idea how fun it is to make a mouse flip around a kitchen?)).
So then last night we had to stop by gamestop for something or other for John’s brother, and I saw Fable II. I’d only played the very beginning at Tenaya’s, and it had been sort of fun. And I was kind of curious about where it went next. And that’s how I ended up spending EIGHT HOURS last night, running around trying to do missions and kill some stuff and forge swords and buy a house to rent out. And I talked to the screen the whole time. Holy crap. At one point, John had the controller, because I had needed him to win a fight for me, and the next bit of the mission involved going back to the main town. There’s this little sparkle trail that leads you everywhere, but he wanted to kind of manually set the destination, and I didn’t want to mess with what I had been told to do, and I freaked out a little and said something about “nooooo, my game, give it back, you’ll ruin it!” Oh man. What a brat. John wisely walked away, and now won’t help me play at all. Which sucks. Because I need help. Clearly. Mostly, I need help chilling out and not getting so involved. I know very well that it’s just a game, and has no bearing on anything, and I have no problem setting it down. But while I’m there, I get really tense and involved and (obviously) kind of manic. It’s no good. I think it was maybe better when I hated games. But now I at least have to finish this one. And Ratatouille. And I have a couple Katamari’s left to make. And I really do like Little Big Planet, but that’s just on ps3….
I have a problem, people.