Pac-man Fever

Its been a real hectic week. Of course it is hard to get things done when you have 2 holidays in the same week to celebrate. What is that puzzled look upon your face? It it possible that you forgot what Sunday is? Have you not gotten the things necessary to mark this wonderful day? Apparently the secularists and their war against holidays have claimed another victim, for July 8 is recognized as Video Games Day. Or as my son calls it, Sunday. Why don’t you put on your best acid washed jeans and that coolest size smedium Lightning Bolt t shirt and don’t forget your quarters cause we are heading to the arcade for a holiday special of “the things I have learned” from video games:
Based on the fact that I was born during the latter part of the Nixon administration, i am obligated in any discussion regarding classic video games to recount some tale of my early exposure to a Pong game but the truth is that I didn’t even know what Pong was until i was in middle school and needed some of my friends’ older brothers to describe what was so funny about saying, “i was playing Bong, I mean Pong all weekend.”
My earlier and fondest memories of video games was not even the Atari 2600, although i did play an awful lot of 2600 games. Of course every one played an awful lot on the 2600 because all of the games were awful. No, to me the greatest thing was getting my mom to drop me off at Normandy Mall so I could experience the Nirvana that was Alladin’s Castle. Those who grew up slightly later do not quite understand what a joy it was to go to the arcade. And don’t give me that ” we had Chuck E. Cheese and Dave and Busters” alibi. Any place that you receive tickets from a game that you have to exchange for prizes at an exchange rate that is comparable to the value of Confederate dollars after the Civil War, is not really my idea of fun. I am talking about stand alone single quarter operated cabinets of pure electronic joy. And although it started with those darkly lit rooms of yesterday populated by pimply faced Dungeons and Dragon playing kids festooned in classic black swooshed Nikes and piped super tight jogging shorts, it has continued to today. The lessons I have been taught by Professor Pacman and Dr. Centipede have lasted until this day.
First of all I learned that compulsive eating of little white pills…er…I mean dots can be quite monotonous and make it feel that there are ghosts chasing you. However get a hold of one big pill/dot and you are ready to kick some ass at least until it wears off. This lesson is retaught every Saturday night at bars all over West Jacksonville. From Centipede I learned that spiders suck..and explode on impact. I learned that a dash can protect an entire city from alien invasion. In games like Galaga, I learned that, in life, after the really hard parts there are bonus rounds that are super easy and you earn extra lives to be used later….or at least I hope so. And thanks to Super Pacman and Baby Pacman, I learned that sequels suck. However the Pacman family also taought me that a simple kiss is all you need to show love.
As I grew older and my disposable income did too, my love for video games also increased as did the lessons learned. I learned that when plumbers are not bent over in my bathroom stinking of sewage and showing their ass crack to the world that they are noble creatures that hate mushrooms and can save the world. I learned that no matter how many times in life you push up,up ,down, down,a,b,a,b,start, you don’t get invulnerability. That is a lesson that both I and my insurance company wished I would have learned the first time. I learned that I am the greatest MLB pitcher, NFL head coach/quarterback and lead guitar playing rock god that the world has ever known.
As my kids grow up, I am glad that the school of video games is also a home schooling program. I am thankful that theyt oo can learn all they need from the University of PS3 and XBOX 360 State because real college is expensive. My son has learned that the way to make any movie funnier and more fun is to have the characters be made of Legos. Thanks to first person shooters, he knows more about military tactics than some Army Generals do and let’s just say that when the Zombie Apocalypse comes, all I have to do is give him the gun and our family will be just fine.
My wife and daughter have also learned valuable lessons like that Nobody has ever made a good Harry Potter game. Pigs may be great kidnappers but the make really poor architects. Unfortunately they also play The Sims and have learned that if some one in your life is not meeting your standards, you can just delete them. I love you honey and dinners almost ready( she is smiling , right?)
Best of all, when it gets all fuzzy and out of control,
There is always CONTROL+ALT+DELETE


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