Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thursday Nerdsday - Video Games, Consoles, and More

Before you read any further, I must disclose a few things. First, I'm not a gamer by any stretch of the imagination. The most recent game I was obsessed with enough to stay up until 4am was Guitar Hero.

For the record, I beat the shit out of the devil while extremely pregnant. So there is that.

Video games are a sensitive topic in my house, for a few reasons. Well, for one reason, actually.

You see...all the people living under this roof have addictive tendencies when it comes to electronic devices. Even the short people. Cell phones, MP3 players, Kindles, computers, video name it, we like it. We like it a lot.

My husband has been dying to buy an Xbox since they came out, but he won't let himself because he knows that it would be a terrible idea. It would be a matter of minutes and he'd be sucked into the vortex. I would probably never see him again. I also don't believe for one second that he would be able to resist all the Call of Duty - like games because I remember how obsessed he was when Grand Theft Auto came out.

As an aside, my opinion about those CoD-like games is this...they are fine for adults to play (as long as they are mentally stable and don't actually start to believe they are assassins), but kids shouldn't be playing them. I'm a big fan of a fully developed pre-frontal cortex being involved with anything having to do with violence, even if it is all fake and digitized. The decision making centers in males are not fully developed until they are 25, so it's hard to make any argument with me that a kid half that age should be playing. (feel free to rip me apart for this, but there is a reason those games aren't in my house)...and I digress.

My husband is the guy who wanted to try out WoW during a free trial and realized a few days in that his eyes were glazed over and his face was twitching. He's the guy who's wife wants to kill him whenever someone else buys him a Zelda game, because she knows he's totally out of commission until he has beaten the game.

Seriously, WTF is it with Zelda anyway?

He is intrigued by the new Xbox One, but I'm not hearing great things so far. The PS4 will have a price point about $100 less with comparable features. Microsoft attempted to restrict digital ownership of the games, though they have apparently ditched that plan after a very vocal nerd revolt. The console is already pricey, the games are expensive, and you almost have to subscribe to Xbox Live Gold to use most of the features on it. I know plenty of people who adore their Xboxes, we're holding out though. For now at least.

Which is fine with me.

I don't play a whole lot of video games because they generally piss me off now. I'm old school. I would play the shit out of upright arcade games and I can rock a pinball machine like a master. I adored Mortal Kombat. A.D.O.R.E.D.

I beat Super Mario Brothers, the original version, after acquiring permanent dents in my fingers from the controller and spending way too much time one summer perfecting my strategies.

Games today?  Not the same. The unlimited lives thing irks me more than anything else I think. Back in my day, when we had to walk uphill in the snow both ways to school, you had a set number of lives and you actually had to figure out how to beat the game. You sure as hell weren't going to blow five lives in a row running off a cliff because it's funny. No f-ing way. Those lives were numbered and precious and forced you to actually learn how to play the game.

My kids will literally spend hours running characters off cliffs, picking each other up and throwing them, then demanding that whoever else is playing pop their bubble again. Over and over and over. 

I can't deal.

We own a PS2 (which I bought for my husband as a wedding gift....we really are those people), though it needs to be roof tested since it hasn't worked in years. He just isn't ready to part with it yet, so it sits in the cabinet and he looks longingly at it, remembering the good times.

We also have a Wii. Funny story about that. When they came out, I got up before dawn for something like four weekends in a row to stand in lines in sub zero temperatures in the dark in the hopes of getting one. I finally did. Did I mention that we are those people?

True story: When the oldest was in Kindergarten, he spelled we wrong on a spelling test. He spelled it Wii, capital W and everything. He wasn't exactly wrong...

He still spends more time fiddling with the Miis than playing the games.

We haven't upgraded to the Wii U, mostly because of that above mentioned electronic addiction thing. We've been buying more table games to encourage the kids to play more with each other and spend less time running Mario off cliffs.

We also have to be pretty strict about game playing because it leads to fights in the house fairly often. Neither of the girls is very patient, they can both get very obsessive about the games once they master them. They both also tend to get frustrated with their older brother when he picks them up and throws them off cliffs.

Better on the screen than in real life, I suppose...


For other posts in the world of nerd...

SooperDad Blog of Awesomeness wrote about the #Batfleck controversy.

Saltwater Sessions shared the men of geekdom she loves.

Crazy dumbsaint of the mind wrote about Adventure Time.


  1. I played wow. A lot. Like a job, hard core raiding WoW for a couple (four) years. It was about my only stress release. I loved the fishing aspect - all the relaxation of fishing, without the stink & bait.

    And now, I just binge on the Doctor. :D Which is one reason there will be a second round of geek gods.

  2. So a gamer widow...I can tell you..The vortex is strong. We have done WOW ...we have done STWOR Even did a few beta's.
    I used to be accused of loving my books more than my husband...Well...I don't...Mmm okay mostly don't...No no I doon't....
    Its his stress relief....Mine is reading...

  3. When I first saw this I said And All the Gamer Widows Screamed NOOOOOO.
    The Hubs is addicted to them...We have done WoW we have done STWOR ....we have even done Beta's
    I have to also admit I have been accused of loving my books more than my husband.
    I don't...well...mostly don't..Okay okay I don't...right?
    Its his stress relief I get that. I get how it can be a stress relief.
    I agree I am good with The Doctor and Reruns of various Law and order...
    I have resisted watching Sherlock because ...well...My tv catch up day is already full and I would leave all pretense of responsibility at that point...probably

  4. I like the God games. I'm not sure what that says about me as a person, but there it is. I want to control it all.


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