Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gamer appreciation

This could have been me

With the festive season upon us it has become apparent that I will be receiving a Nintendo Wii from Jesus for Christmas. I am incredibly excited about this prospect but also a little concerned.

I'm certainly no hardcore gamer who spends 17 hours a day playing World of Warcraft. In fact, I don't really know much about any of these new, cool games at all and am likely to say something as laughable to a gamer as referring to "Jerry from The Beatles" would be to a music fan. My gaming experience is mostly grounded in childhood on Atari and original Nintendo. Asteroids and Mario are my friends. This might suggest I have left this life behind me for all the consoles that have come since, but that is far from the truth. The fact that Super Mario Bros 1, 2 and 3 are being released in a special anniversary edition shows that the nostalgia for these games goes a long way and I am right there ready to play them all over again. Oh, how I can't wait to uproot a giant radish in Super Mario  2!

It really was the biggest and most exciting Mario Bros adventure to date!

Just a few years ago I salivated over until I got a Game Boy Advance which came with Super Mario 3 and a fully illustrated guide on how to conquer the game. I finished the game in my youth without any such aid, but once I was older I welcomed the guide to get me through the things that age and a lack of patience were holding me back from. The Legend of Zelda was another game which I persevered with and conquered. After clearing the entire game, I went through again and mapped out ever maze noting each room's prizes and enemies for easier game play in future. I transferred my findings tidily to graph paper, the process taking me a week to complete. I loaned the maps to a friend along with the game, the whereabouts of which remain unknown, something which makes my stomach turn to this very day.

So as this new Wii calls out to me along with a brand new edition of Mario, I worry about my future. Sure, the Wii will be great for exercise with Boxing and Tennis on Wii Sports, but I can't exactly take Mario lightly. I have a reputation to uphold. I will beat that game, oh yes I will. I will get Rock Band too and unlike when I've played it other people's homes where I can barely finish a song on Easy, at home I will eventually beat Expert level on all my favourite songs. I must.

Whenever I see someone in this shirt, I want to shake their hand in camaraderie. I'd have one of my own if they came in girl sizes.

Addiction to video games is most often frowned upon for it's utter uselessness and waste of time. As addicted as I can get and with what little I have to show for afterward, I don't entirely disagree. But there is some credit due to the gamer which they never receive from anyone outside of their gamer nerd peer group. There is a real commitment involved in completing these games. A real determination along with strategy and deep thinking are often involved to get to the end (at least there was until you could Google your way out of any gaming pickle.) When I was stuck on Bart Vs The Space Mutants, I thought about it in my private moments until the solution came to me in a dream. When I woke up, I tried what I dreamt and it worked.

The level I was stuck on in 'Bart Vs The Space Mutants'. It must have been the exceptional graphics that held my attention.

I have long remarked that my commitment to video games is actually a mark of my good character. Surely my perseverance is commendable? I can only ponder what greatness I could have achieved in life had I parlayed this deep thought, problem solving skill and determination to something more useful. At the very least a career in which I could have afforded Wii the day it came out.
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