Workers Play(station) Time
Don’t know how many of you remember the Sega, I mean saga, the Christmas before last when Campbell was so desperate for a Gameboy that he tried to play me off against Santa. I made my views known at the time (online to you readers; Campbell already knew as much) that I really didn’t want my son spending his travel and outdoor time constantly attending to a mini-computer rather when he could be interacting with the world and the people around him. (After all, we don’t want him turning out like his dad, do we?) I much preferred it, I said constantly, that his computer play time be spent at home, where it could be regulated and timed.
Campbell eventually figured I was not going to change my mind, so he changed his. Somewhere in early February, he cornered me and asked if he could buy a Sony Playstation with his own savings. You should have seen his face when I said that yes, he could: But I insisted that we get his snowboarding season over with first; having proudly raised a boy who is out of the house and on a mountain come 9am every Saturday and Sunday in winter, I didn’t want him reverting to the typically cartoon-addicted kid we experienced back in Brooklyn.
That snowboarding season ended last weekend (locally, at least), and I was barely home from Austin before he had me back out in the car and off to the Big Box Stores in Kingston. Campbell’s savings barely amounted to $150, the price of the Playstation itself (before tax), so guess who kicked in for the second controller, the memory card, and his first two games – entertaining and harmless spin-offs of the Spongebob and Madagascar movies. By the time we got to check-out, however, two more games had made it into our cart, and when I tell you they were entitled FIFA 2006 and Bode Miller Alpine Skiing, you’ll rightly surmise that Campbell was not the only once excited about acquiring a Playstation.
I finally got on the skiis last night. I was no better than Bode for my first few dozen runs. In fact, I thought it quite comical that commentator Jeff Jones was dishing out sampled lines like “Is he blind?” and “We might as well all go home right now” as I routinely crashed into gates and skidded off course. (All we needed was the line, “Is he still drunk from last night?” and it would have been a perfect replica of Miller’s Turin Olympic trials.) After half an hour, the adrenalin pumping just like it used to on the Space Invaders machines of Wardour Street, I finally completed a down-hill run on the Giant Slalom and called it a night while I was ahead. Ah, the sweet memory of games addictions.
I got up the next morning to find Campbell had “woken early” and opted to use up his entire day’s one-hour Playstation allocation before breakfast. He came upstairs for his Cocoa Puffs wired like he’d already had several bowls of the stuff. Like father, like son, eh? Years ago, I was sent a free Nintendo set to write a story about the phenomenon of the first home TV games system. I finally sent it back when I realized I wasn’t getting any other work done. Thankfully for me, the Playstation is stored in a different building than my office. Besides which, surely, I’m different now. I can stop whenever I want to.
So… Who has some tips on the FIFA game?