The 10,000 year-long path to becoming a genuine person

I made a point to check my usual the video game websites today. It’s something I do with regularity, once every week or so, since obviously I need to keep abreast of all the ins and outs of the industry. I mean, I need to know when the next Halo game is going to drop. And aren’t there like two different Star Wars games coming down the pike that have all the hip nerds salivating at the thought of spending quality time with their lightsabers instead of, you know, actual girls?

I’m allowed to say things like that, by the way, and no, it’s not the online equivalent of kicking sand in a dude’s face. You always reserve the right to mock members of your peer group, and regardless of the fact that I’m married with a gaggle kids, I’m still a card-carrying member of Nerd Nation and will continue to be so for at least as long as my business cards are embossed with the words Software Engineer.

Still, although my membership is not in question, my dedication probably should be. The fact of the matter is that I’m not much of a gamer any more. I just don’t have time for it, and I realized something else not long ago: honestly, I don’t really miss it much. I first realized I was in trouble when Puddipop, The Sequel asked me several weeks ago if I would hook my beloved Wii to the basement TV for them. My first inclination was to respond the same way a four year-old would when having his/her favorite toy taken by force; that is, I wanted to scream “NOooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! It’s MMMMmmiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnneneee! MINE MINE MINE MINE MINE” while rolling around on the floor convulsively.

Luckily, I do realize on occasion that I’m supposed to be portraying the role of “Adult” in our exchanges. It’s a good thing for the Puddinette, really, or there would be a lot more fart jokes flying around the house.

So I gave him the response I usually give when faced with a situation where I’m determined to act selfishly without making it seem like I’m being selfish. You know, because we’re supposed to share and stuff. Whatever. Anyway, I told him that I’d think about it. Obviously, in terms of an adult-child discussion that’s the equivalent of being told to fill out six different forms in triplicate before being sent to the back of the line at the DMV. It’s a sad road to nowhere.

But then something incredibly strange happened: I actually did think about it. And try as I might, I could think of absolutely no reason why I should continue to hoard my video game devices in the family room as if they were treasured pieces of my childhood. I have video game memories that absolutely fill that role, of course, but I haven’t even attempted to play a game on my Wii or Xbox 360 since before the first of the year. I’ve got Christmas gifts stacked up on the media shelf in there, unwrapped and waiting forlornly to be placed in that disc tray, like the fat kid that picks his nose before a recess kickball game (see paragraph 2, above).

A little over a week ago, I moved the Wii down to the basement, and the older boys are now frequently fighting over Mario Kart; all is right with the world. I want to be sad that I don’t play games anymore. I want to sit myself down and say, “Self, you once wrote a post about your Top 5 Personal Video Game moments! You can’t just give up now! This is important stuff, or something!”

But the fact of the matter is that I’ve somehow been led to The Novice Path of Well-Roundedness. I spend my extra time these days writing posts, working on my freshman novel, and looking for excuses to play golf of all things. Golf, real golf, with clubs and balls and stuff; not the kind from EA.

Simply put: my life, at the moment, is incompatible with video games. I have just too many pots on the fire to care about what happens to Commander Shepard. The time may come, eventually, when I don’t have 20 hours of work to do between each rising and setting of the sun. When that day arrives, I’ll dust off my old friend, the plump, Italian plumber, and get down to the business of saving Princess Peach from the devious clutches of Bowser (again).

For now, though, I guess you guys will have to be my friends. So, be gentle with me, please; I’m kinda new at being a real person.



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