I am not a ‘gamer’. For all of my geek obsessions, gaming has never been one of them. The truth is, there are only so many hours in the day to devote to all things geek… adding video games would only complicate my frenzied life even more. But to clarify, I enjoy video games as much as the next nerd, just not on a level where it consumes my life. I certainly played hours of them as a child.
Even in adulthood, there have been sporadic bouts of game-playing over the years, times when I did delve deep into a particular game. There were hours spent at the fraternity playing WCW/NWO Revenge, and certainly pre-party matchups on Madden occurred more than I’d like to admit.
Many of these battles ended with thrown controllers and hurt feelings that were only later soothed by shots of tequila and begrudged apologies.
Video games left my everyday existence in college, replaced by adventures with women where the end goal was much harder than simply throwing a fireball at Bowser.
I always had a console around, but as the revolution of video gaming took off, I trudged my way through old Playstation 2 games while everyone else moved on. It was ironic that the thing I liked most about video games- playing with actual people as opposed to the computer, was now becoming easier with technology and the internet. Still, I did nothing.
The introductory price of XBOX 360 and PS3 did nothing to soothe my reservations about buying another system. I was far too busy writing, producing, or trying to write and produce. Occasionally, I would fiddle with a PS3 game at a friend’s house, more out of curiosity than anything else. It always went the same, me amazed at the amount of buttons and the ways in which you needed to successfully combine said buttons just to get The Ultimate Warrior to kick someone. Never mind his finishing move the gorilla press slam…
I was old. Video games had surpassed me. Shocking as this was, I was content with that.
Then came the introduction of the WII. For real gamers, even mentioning this device in their presence can lead to an embarrassing barrage of insults that you may never recover from. But the WII accomplishes so much more than hardcore gamers realize. It’s a wonderful system for a casual gamer under the age of 12 or over the age of 30. It’s simple and basic. Dare I say… even cute. Above everything else on the market, it’s non-threatening.
And that’s the point. The Angel and I love game night at our house, as entertaining various couples is a real pleasure for us. The WII provided a fun gaming experience that everyone could pick up and play right away. We had countless nights filled with Beatles Rock Band, Grand Slam Tennis, and Family Feud. I still love the WII and will defend it’s positives against any fellow geek.
But something in me started to itch. Playing the WII brought out a wave of nostalgia for the video gamer inside me… I thought about all the systems I had owned over the years… Intellivision, Ninetendo. N64. Genesis. PS2.
This need to play something tougher and more challenging wouldn’t go away, and I started thinking about purchasing a XBOX 360 or PS3. It also coincided with The Angel telling me I needed to relax more in life. Believe it or not, I don’t spend a lot of time relaxing, and it has become sort of an issue. I always seem to be doing something or “getting something done.”
It also helped that PS3 had dropped its price, and I kept hearing about this unbelievable game called Batman: Arkham Asylum. WAIT- a game of the year candidate featuring Batman? Hmm… well, The Angel and I did need another blu-ray player anyway…
And so the PS3 was purchased. I bought Madden, Batman AA, and NBA2K (they put Michael Jordan on the cover after all). I played quite a bit of my new PS3 during those first few weeks. It was fun, and it did the job of easing my mind for an hour or so. Nothing about my time spent playing games was unhealthy.
Then came DC Universe Online.
Then came doom and destruction for my free time.
I may never recover from what this game does to you.
To explain, I’ll be writing part 2 later this week.
For now though, I have to log on and play it.
And that’s enough to tell you where this story is headed…