January 22, 2009

The Force Is (Not) Strong With This One

**We've posted 2 posts at once, so make sure to look at the post after this :)

For those of you who follow this blog because of the fun info about our life overseas, this post will disappoint you…just fyi in case you keep reading expecting some sort of deep spiritual or cultural connection…there ain’t none.

I admit it.
I stink at video games.
Since the beginning of time I have been a delinquent video game player.
It’s true. I’m craptacular.

My first experience with video games was when I was in probably about 3rd or 4th grade.

Julia Howard (now Julia Roberts…seriously, here’s their blog…there Jules, now you have to update it because lots of people are going to click on it!)
Julia Howard got a Nintendo. Super Mario Brothers was the game.

I can remember being in her room with the bunkbed, seated on the lower bunk watching her and (insert anyone’s name but mine) ----------- playing the game.
“Dah dah dah duh dat tada, duh da tuh da tuh da tuh da tada…” went the music.
When it was my turn I’m sure I was Luigi because who wants to be the sidekick right?
Anyway, I would shrink within approximately 10 seconds or so and then die. You know what I’m talking about.
And I had NO CLUE how everyone else seemed to know which of the pipes you could go down.
Still don’t.

The same story continued in Middle School.
This time at Heidi Lunn’s house (she’s now Heidi Del Real…married a Panamanian and has a BEAUTIFUL son…anyway…I like her name, very exotic)
You see, Heidi’s younger brother was into video games. They both were really.
From what I could tell anyway. We didn’t have video games at my house…but we’ll get to that in a second.
So it seemed like they were into them. The fact that they even had a game system makes them “gamers” in my book.
Anyway. I believe Super Mario Kart was the game. Or at least it changed to that from some other cooler game when I told Heidi I couldn’t play very well. I think she had a Nintendo 64.
So, in pity, we did the “fun” and “easy” game Mario Kart instead.

Awful I tell ya. At least I could kinda make the thing go. But I was off the road so often, it didn’t matter if Donkey Kong threw a banana peel in the road, I dang sure wasn’t gonna hit it. Too bad it wasn’t called like Super MarioLandRover…

And it wasn’t just the screen that evidenced my sub-parness.
Oh no.
My arms.
My face.
I’m sure if there was a blood-pressure cuff available, it would have proved it as well.
Ya know in the movies where kids are playing video games?
They just sit there, blank expressions and push buttons with their fingers on the controllers.
Not me.
If I needed to jump, my entire arms would go up.
If I needed to jump real high, my arms would go up REALLY high.
You didn’t even have to look at the screen to tell where I was going.
My arms were like sign-language interpreters to what I was trying to accomplish on the screen.
And my face.
Between my mouth being open and my neck muscles being tight at all times, you could tell I was just trying to keep Luigi from being got with one of those red-turtle-shell bombs.

So there was Heidi on her side of the screen waiting for me at the Finish line in first place as usual while I, flailing and using much more intensity with my facial muscles than is necessary and relegated to last place attempted to try and make something of my clearly inept gaming skills.

Mercifully, or pitifully, (not sure which) it wouldn’t take Heidi long to suggest something else. We’d practice our cheers or something. That we were both good at.

I’m pretty sure the Nintendo people heard about people like me and created the Wii so as to remove the shame of a population of gaming losers who unconsciously move their controller.

Then. It happened. The high point in the story.
My parents bought us a Super Nintendo, with Donkey Kong Country and Super Mario Kart.

My younger sister and I were a team.
It took us approximately 1 month and a cheat-book to beat the game. (Anthony just scoffed and said, “You had to get a cheat book for Donkey Kong?!?”)
At one point I had blisters on my thumbs. I’m not kidding.
I can’t even remember how old I was or why my parents chose to buy it for us then. (probably because it was on sale because the new 64’s came out)
I grew up as one of 3 girls. We just didn’t have video games. I can’t ever even remember wanting one.
Probably because I was scarred from the beginning stinking at Duck Hunt at Julia’s.
After we beat those 2 games, I think we got a Star Wars video game, but I was so bad at it I didn’t want to play. It didn’t make sense.
(insert foreshadowing music here)
There were no bananas.
No red turtle shell bombs.
My sister didn’t ask for anymore games either. I think we lost interest at the same time.

Fast forward approximately 15 years or so.
I’ve been married for 4 years, moved to another country, and given birth.
We’ve either been too poor or too busy to buy a gaming system or games.
But then Steve Jobs did a number and made a MacBook, then some other genius made STAR WARS LEGOS computer game.
Since getting our newest Macbook (yes we have the cool new aluminum one☺) my husband decided to buy a computer game.
I told him, “This is all you. I’m so crappy at video games.”
He didn’t believe me.
Some how. Some way, we’ve made it through our dating and married life of 6 years without ever playing a video game together.
So we leave the Mac Store with STAR WARS LEGOS II in hand.

It’s the game version of the original trilogy. (Luke, Leia, Han and the whole gang)
I’m a Star Wars geek, so I didn’t mind.
I thought, well, it has been a few years. I am older. Maybe I’ll play.
So when he was out and Isaac was asleep, I attempted it.
All by myself I even set-up the key controls how I wanted and started.
After it took me 5 minutes to figure out that I had set the controls for “Player #2” who, mysteriously, can’t be controlled when there’s no player #1, I gave it one more try.
At that point Anthony showed up and started watching me.
He was like, “Shoot that guy!”
I tried.
I really did.
I don’t know if he understands how hard I really did try.
That stupid Leia with her bun-head wouldn’t move where I wanted.
And since I was controlling from the keyboard, I couldn’t engage my special spasm moves.
Afterwards as we were searching for a game controller compatible with Mac’s, I was defending my case.

Me- “Ok, but you were there. The guy was catty-corner to me and if I hit left I turned too much to the left and hit right once but ended up too far to the right! How do you explain that!?!”
Anthony- “You mean you didn’t hit two keys at once?”
Me-“What? That’s dumb. Plus how did you know that?”
Anthony- “Love, you can combine keys. But don’t worry. After we get this controller, it’ll make it easier on you.”
Me- “I don’t think it’ll make a difference” then repeating to him what I told you above about my gaming calisthenics
Anthony- (pitifully) Laughs

I have as yet to touch the game controller. Anthony is sitting next to me making comments like, “Wow Darth Vader’s fast.” which you would think would indicate some sort of stress or Luke/R2/Yoda dying (He’s on Degoba, where Yoda lives).
No stress. You can barely even hear him hit the buttons on the control. He’s winning.

Seriously people.
I write all this because…I’m not sure.
It’s just one of those things I have to come to terms with, I guess.
And this is me, coming to terms.

Unless I find out that there’s some video game playing guidebook that’s like a Video Game version of Lonely Planet. Like “Lonely Gamer.”

It’ll read: “Relax those muscles on Matel’s new “Dress-up Barbie” game where you get to choose the clothes and accessories for Barbie. There’s no need to partake in the stress of the surroundings as there are only 2 buttons required to play the game at maximum ability. If you are searching for something a little more spontaneous pick up “My Little Ponies 2: Glue Castle Revenge.” It’s got all the sparkles and rainbows of the first edition, but with an added bonus level where you spear 3 glue makers with your horn.”

If there’s a book like that, I’ll be on it like Donkey Kong.

Also, my sister has a Wii now (and I think a guitar hero?) So in a few months I’ll probably have to revisit this deficient aspect of my life again. I’ll try to get me playing my (almost 6 year-old) nephew at Wii Tennis on video. If he’ll stoop so low.
Stay tuned.

Until then I’m content to watch my husband fly his X-wing Fighter with all the skill of a Jedi Master.


Heather said...

I can remember sitting on the couch watching you and Veronica playing Donkey Kong and feeling like a complete 'tard because I was so bad at video games...you were much better than me! I can remember you and Veronica getting so mad at me when I would try to do it and trying to snatch the controller out of my hand saying, "here let me show you how to do it!" So as bad as you are, there's still a skill level ranking below you! Until... the Wii.

I'm proud to announce that I'm the only one in my home at the moment that can use her Mii to actually race the other characters because I've unlocked the 100cc on Gold (of course I did have some help from the hubby- it was a joint effort)

What's really going to make you mad is when you come to our house and play Star Wars Legos on the XBOX with Kaelyn- Our four year old who can beat all the levels BY HERSELF!!!
Oh yeah, and you might want to avoid playing Wii Bowling with Jeremiah...since the first time he played it, he's bowled a score of over 200 every time...it's disgusting...

We call him the Wii genius.

Lori said...

I soooo know where you're coming from!! Just be careful playing the wii tennis...I (like you) get into it a little too much and ended up hitting Hannah because I was doing my controller like a real tennis racket and jumping around and everything...you don't have to get into it quite that much. Needless to say, Hannah won't play tennis with me any more...I don't understand why...the bruise went away in about a week. :) I haven't even attempted the guitar hero yet. Anyway, if you would like to play the wii with someone more on your level while you're here, give me a call!

Brandon and April said...

We never had video games either. So when I went to college (yes that's right, college) and one of my roommate's had a 64 and Donkey Kong...we stayed up ALL NIGHT, thumb blisters and all, to beat that awesome game. To this date, it's my favorite video game EVER.

Cara said...

THIS is yet another reason why you're my best friend. I'm terrible too, but the Wii is different! I'm still not that good, but the Wii tennis, baseball and bowling make me feel better. I'm still pretty bad at Mario Kart on the Wii but there are improvements being made. Let's "game" together when you guys get back and we'll see who's the worst! :)

marylou said...

one more reason why we get along so well...but i guarantee i'm worse than you when it comes to video games! boggles my mind that i gave birth to kids that it comes second nature to!

Anthony and Sharon said...

Wow...thanks guys (er, ladies) for all the support. I didn't know I was in such great company in my gaming suckiness.
I'd like to know if there are any boys who suffer from it?

jdk0103 said...

All I've got to say is ..... you guys got the new Macbook???

We hope to get one in the States :) How is it, nice huh?

PS - yeah I pretty much stink at video games too (and do the same thing with motions, so I'm looking forward to trying out a Wii), Justin has that Star Wars game and has already bought a 2nd one because he beat all the levels of the 1st one. I didn't even try! He laughs at me if I ever attempt to play his football game, hah!

SouthAsiaRocks said...

haha! That was quite a post! I used to play Super mario Brothers with a friend and I would always die immediately and then have to wait 3 hours while he finished his turn :) haha!

So we got a Wii... you actually don't have to be good at video games to play it! It's awesome!!! There's a Star Wars game where your controler is your light saber - it's fun! haha!

Craig and Angie said...

Not that I'm trying to sell you on coming here to watch the Super Bowl but we, of course, have the Complete Series Lego Star Wars for the Wii.

Six movies, six levels EACH!! If we hadn't bought that while I was in language school I might not have survived our first year. Also, I might be a level 9 by now :-)

We also have Lego Indiana Jones for Wii and Lego Batman for PSP because we rock ... and because we have more boys here than girls in our household.