Tales of a wandering lesbian

I am a Rock Star – Peter Pan Style

I feel like I’m 12 again, sneaking upstairs to unplug the NES to bring it to my room and play into the wee hours of the night. I think most anyone who grew up with a computer gaming system will know what I’m talking about. There have been certain games in my gaming career that have been more apt to draw me in and keep me playing for hours and hours.

When I was a kid, Super Mario Bros and Zelda did the trick. Before that, I had a Texas Instruments keyboard console that plugged directly into the tv and acted like a computer. My game of choice on that system was Parsec.

In college, I hoarded the community Super Nintendo in my dorm room for a two week stint playing Donkey Kong Country non-stop, and in law school, I ended up at the eye doctor complaining of flashing lights that were caused from the hours and hours in front of a tv playing Jak and Daxter, and Ratchet and Clank on my classmate’s Playstation2.

As you may have noticed, I’ve never actually purchased a gaming unit. Sometimes, I know my limitations. Other times I ignore them.

Take the wii, for example. It wasn’t until a little over a year ago that Leigh and I decided we could handle one. She called from Fred Meyer “I might have a wii under my arm. I might bring it home. What do you think?”

“Hell yeah! That’s what I think!”

We were responsible for a good long while. We set rules:
1. No wii in the morning.
2. No wii before dark.
3. No solo wii.

That was all good for a while. We played Mario Cart together for an hour every so often. We observed the rules. That is, until we got the wii fit. That was when the real addict came out. It didn’t seem that bad, though, because, although I was spending a couple of hours a day on it, I was doing yoga and strength training. I was even getting up early to ride my bike so I could record it in the wii fit fitness log. Frankly, I was in the best shape of my life. I was, however often violating the wii rules. I’d come home from work and wii alone, and before dark.

But, this week, things really took a turn. A friend was in from out of town, and she called to see if I wanted to come play Rock Band. Yes, yes I did want to play Rock Band. I’d once played Guitar Hero in the Fred Meyer electronics department, and was instantly hooked. Since then I had been trying to convince Leigh that a plastic replica guitar controller would be a good “investment.”

After about 10 minutes playing Rock Band, I was completely enthralled with the game. This is a brilliant game. It combines great music with really fun, interactive game play that can involve your whole family and any skill level. It’s seriously genius. We played for a couple of hours, trading off between guitar, bass, singing and playing the drums. (I’m fairly certain I frightened folks a little when I started banging away on the drums. I’ve never been a percussion person, but this is incredibly fun and therapeutic.)

I spent the next day researching the game, and settled on the Rock Band 2 special edition package. I called around to about 6 Fred Meyer stores and found one unit. (Apparently, these things are popular.) It was even on sale! After a 20 mile detour, I had my very own Rock Band set.

Rock Band

That night, I spent 4 hours playing, but it was mostly after dark, and Leigh played too. (We named our band members after our animals and called it “Menagerie.” We’re pretty proud of ourselves.) Added to the few hours spent researching, the hour calling around and the hour picking it up and setting it up, I spent more time with Rock Band than I did sleeping. Perhaps this should have been a clue that Rock Band would need its own special set of rules.

The next night I only spent three hours playing, but this time I was alone. (At least I haven’t started playing in the morning yet.) After I finally went to bed – because I could no longer hold the guitar – I thought about the things I hadn’t done for a couple of days because of my total consumption by this video game. I realized something: I’m not sure I can be responsible for my actions. No, seriously. When I was 12 and I wanted to play Nintendo all the time, I had someone telling me that I had to do my homework, or that it was time for bed, or that I should go play outside. That is no longer the case.

What’s more, I now have the financial ability to purchase any gaming system I want, and any games that I want, and any controllers that I want. At the same time, I don’t have anyone to regulate my usage of those games – except for me, who would rather play. I’m not so sure this is a good combination for me. I’m not working out, Libby hasn’t had a good walk all week, and I haven’t started packing. I can totally rock the bass on the “hard” level, though, so that’s good.

Last week, someone referred to me as “Peter Pan.” I wasn’t sure if it was a criticism or a compliment. Either way, I wonder, what would Peter Pan do? And, would he sing lead for his band the “Lost Boys” or would Tinkerbell?

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August 27, 2009   7 Comments