Saturday, January 06, 2007

The couple who Game together, Stay together

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

From Atari’s PONG to Nintendo’s Wii. That’s our video game history together. Do you remember when Pong first came out back in the late 70s? The very first video game of our time to become widely popular, it entertained us with its simple table tennis premise. We had one. I think Rick had it before we were even married. If not for him I would probably never have started down the video game addiction road.

We got our first Nintendo while living in France. We didn’t have much in the way of television to watch that was in English, so we played lots of video games. It was something we could do together; either playing against each other or watching the other person play out a game. It really is almost as much fun watching as playing yourself. I can still remember one of our favorites: Star Tropics. Later, back in the States, we bought the Nintendo 64. About two years ago we upgraded to the Nintendo Game Cube since games were not being made for the 64 anymore. We spent many cozy hours in our cabin while the wind raged outside and the snow fell while we played video games.

Our friends, mostly all with children, thought we were a bit juvenile. After all, video games were what their children were playing! It’s pretty bad when you go over to a friend’s house and end up having a conversation with their kids about how to beat the big boss in SuperMario. Almost embarrassing. But it didn’t stop us. We liked the game formats that Nintendo offered [Mario, Zelda]. We tried getting a PlayStation one year and just weren’t happy with it. We got an XBox the year after they came out and still have it today. There are a lot of violent shoot-em-up games for both of the other formats. But we don’t play those kinds of games. We tend to play the adventure, puzzle solving kind. Sure, I get to wield my sword and kill bad guys as a dungeon-going elf, but I also have to solve some pretty ingenious puzzles along the way.

Our newest and latest venture has been into a whole new world. The one of truly interactive game play of the Nintendo Wii. Now when I wield my sword as Link I have to make sure there aren’t any objects in my way that I can knock over. I have to make sure my control is firmly attached to my wrist via a safety strap, otherwise I might get too, uhm…shall we say…carried away and accidentally throw my remote through our new tv. Why you ask? Because instead of just pushing a control stick, now Link mimics my hand actions. What I do; he does. I swing my arm as if to slash with my sword; so does he. It’s magic. When Rick and I bowl we go through all the motions of real bowling. Amazingly enough, I have the same habits of how and where the ball meets the alley as I do in real life. The golf game is so much fun! And yes, you’ve got the idea now, you have to really stand there and swing your remote as if it were a golf club. When Rick and I play doubles in tennis the dogs all stay out of our way. It’s a wonder we don’t whack each other with our ‘rackets.’ But, again, it’s great fun and we’re getting exercise at the same time. We had sore arms and shoulders for days when we first started playing. We even had to open windows to cool down our sweat-soaked bodies. Over Christmas we even got my sister to bowl with us and I don’t think she’s ever played a video game in her life. She beat me! My mother, although we couldn’t entice her into playing with us, was thoroughly entertained by our antics.

I am now heavily immersed in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. I think I’ve played around four different Zelda games over the years, but this one is the best. Getting used to new controls is a bit tricky and I don’t always make the jumps. But I’m getting the hang of it. Rick has different strengths, so he’s helped me over a few rough spots by taking over the controls for me. He plays along with me and we solve the puzzles together. It’s a together time. We are eagerly anticipating the new Super Mario Galaxy and Metroid Prime 3 to be released soon.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Video games are not just for kids. They improve your hand-to-eye coordination, keep your brain sharp through problem solving and lend a healthy dose of fantasy to your life. If you’ve never indulged, I highly recommend it. Go ahead, what have you got to lose?

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Next entry: Upside down

Previous entry: Sunrise


Welcome, I'm Lynne. You know me better as a 'new' Jersey Girl. But now I've moved once again, this time to North Carolina. Here I write about my thoughts, good food, and of course, dogs.

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