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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Wii-anderthal Man

I’m not what you call an ‘early adopter’ when it comes to technology.

I’m not sure why, really. I like shiny things. I spend most waking hours taking turns glomming myself onto my cell phone, TV or one of several computers. And last I checked, I’m still rocking the testicles, which should compel me to make rash expensive decisions without regard to practicality, compatibility or whether the couch is comfortable to sleep on after my wife sees the bill.

And yet. Something keeps me — with the occasional exception — from rushing out to heave money at the Next Big Gadgety Thing That Will Make Your Life Oh-So-Much Better And Reduce Those Around You To Envious Sniveling Trolls Unfit To Kiss Your Very Boots (Which Can Be Bluetooth-Paired With This Wondrous Device For The Low Low Price Of $179.99, If You Think You’re Stud Enough To Rock It That Incredibly Mondo Hard).

(Maybe I should write copy for these people. I’d buy the thing I just described, and I don’t even know what the hell it is.

I had me at ‘envious sniveling trolls’.)

That’s not to say that I don’t gizmo up the joint. I bought a TiVo — around the time their third generation machines came out. And a Slingbox, when I got a deal online for the old kind to clear out the virtual shelves for the latest and greatest. I even game sometimes on my desktop computer. It’s just older games, to match the previous-gen hardware and leisurely pace I’ve adopted in catching up to 21st-century technology.

Being behind on games is a particular pain in the ass. Some of my friends have consoles, or play fancy new titles on the PC, and I just can’t even talk to them. I feel like a thawed-out caveman — like in that old movie with Brendan Fraser.

(Only with better hair and much less money and I would have totally punched Pauly Shore in the face for being such a douche four minutes after coming to so it would have been a much shorter movie, but otherwise exactly like that.

Only in now-times. And about computer games. Apart from that, the similarities are uncanny.)

I had a painful, aborted conversation just the other day with a couple of guys who game more new-school than I do:

Guy 1: Dude, Mass Effect 2 kicked ass. That was definitely Game of the Year material.

Guy 2: Yeah, it was all right. Red Dead Redemption blew it out of the water, though.

Guy 3: Seriously? I’d rather fire up StarCraft 2, even now. So much more fun to replay.

Me: Hey guys — we talking about games?

Guy 1: *sigh* Yeah. Look, I don’t know if you wanna–

Me: ‘Cause I just starting playing this kick-ass title. I’m barely sleeping playing this thing, man!

Guy 2: Oh, yeah? What you got?

Guy 1: No… don’t encourage him; he’s just–

Me: I’m talking Tetris, man! That shit is tight! Tight! You guys ever play it?

Guy 3: Yeah. Back in 1988, before polygons were invented. Get the hell outta here.

(Okay, it wasn’t really Tetris. That would be ridiculous.

It was Bejeweled. Don’t judge me, man. That shit is tight.)

“There are probably Wii vending machines in 7-11s now, dispensing third and fourth backup Wiis to anyone passing by with a few uncrinkled dollars.”

I’ve learned to accept that I’m behind the curve when it comes to gaming. But I recently realized that I’ve sunk to a new low, a dark and spiky pit from which my gaming cred may never recover.

I don’t have a Wii. I knew this already. Everyone in North America has a Wii, seemingly, except for me. They pass them out on Ellis Island to anyone who forgot to pack one for their trip to the U.S. Small children get Wiis these days instead of lollipops when the doc administers their booster shots. There are probably Wii vending machines in 7-11s now, dispensing third and fourth backup Wiis to anyone passing by with a few uncrinkled dollars.

I’m behind this curve. I know this. That’s not the low point.

Neither is this: My parents have a Wii. These are two people who let their hair down and zoomed into the whole ‘cordless phone’ craze maybe eighteen months ago. They own a cell phone. It makes calls — and nothing else — and it’s turned on only on the six days a year when they’re traveling. I suspect — though I can’t bring myself to ask to confirm it — that they still have an active AOL account. Tech-savvy, I wouldn’t call them. But they own a Wii. Thawed-out caveman’s parents 1, thawed-out caveman 0.

And that’s still not the low point. This is the low point:

My grandmother owns a Wii.

I’ve not only been lapped as a gamer by my own parents, now multiple generations are schooling me with more modern gaming rigs. I fully expect to fly home at Christmas to find sweet little grandma wrapped up in her shawl in the rocking chair — with a Bluetooth headset and an XBox 360, pwning chumps with headshots in Call of Duty 14, or whatever the hell they’re up to now.

Meanwhile, I’ll have graduated to Myst or Grand Theft Auto — the original Grand Theft Auto — and even granny will be all, ‘Dude. It’s a new millennium. Catch up already.

She’ll be doing this while pretending she’s some little cartoon chick in a virtual bowling alley surrounded by a bunch of legless twerps that look like they were drawn in crayon by a hyperactive nine-year-old kid. And still she’ll have technology on her side. Which makes it hurt even more.

Still, who knows whether this ‘Wii’ craze will ever really take off? Better to just stay on the sidelines and see how it plays out. Maybe in the meantime, I’ll pick up another, more established system — like a Sega Genesis or SNES. I bet on one of those, you can even play Pong in multiple colors. Now that shit would be TIGHT.

Permalink  |  1 Comment

One Response to “Wii-anderthal Man”

  1. psychochick says:

    first, using testicles and rash in the same sentence isn’t a very good idea.

    second, you’re not a lone, I prefer playing Tetris and Mario brothers. I feel like a genuine geek that way… :P

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