I Remember When…
Looking back, as old men in my thirties often do, we tend to see things in a new light. Time spent, for example, in obsessing over completing impossible, poorly designed video games and chalking it up to the naive concept that “it’s just challenging.”
I remember pouring hours into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles only to have my ego ripped to shreds by electric seaweed on that cursed dam level because apparently turtles swim like Mario when they go underwater. I remember spiking my controller into the ground like a wide receiver would do to a football after a game winning touchdown because I couldn’t get past the first level in Back to the Future; when Marty had to throw glass mugs from behind the counter of Lou’s Cafe at a never-ending army of Biff Tannen thugs that even the Borg wouldn’t mess with. Why I didn’t stop playing when I, as Marty, had to collect alarm clocks, dodge bees and workmen carrying glass, and use bowling balls to clear the path of teenage girls playing with holla-hoops is beyond me, I was young and stupid at the time.
Today, video games have made great strides in terms of graphics and playability. Regardless, I find myself losing patience a lot faster with video games, and technology in general, as I get older. I often wonder if it’s because I’m losing my touch, or if maybe because as an adult I recognize just how valuable time is and not to waste it getting angry at things designed for your entertainment? My ten-year old son is already outclassing me in the technology department, happily showing me how to tv remote works while I wonder if I left something in the microwave from three hours ago. I just find it unsettling that I prefer easier / slower games now because I get frustrated always being outscored by someone younger because they had quicker reflexes and keystrokes. The games I once enjoyed playing I can no longer stand, unless it is a single / cooperative game without the pressure of doing well. I feel…well…old.