Not your everyday gamer

I am not your everyday gamer. Hell, I don’t even really consider myself a “gamer” unless I think about it and have this dawn of realization hit me. (I usually consider myself a game-watcher) To me, to be considered a “gamer” this awe of the latest consoles must be easily available and/or play games that have recently come out.

I’ve never played Xbox, we don’t own the latest consoles, and while it might be fun to own one of them sometime in the future I really don’t care. I know that Jamie would like a new(er) console at some point, but he’s also a big fan of the horror genre games (Resident Evil, Silent Hill, etc) and there are more games available on the newer consoles. He also loves seeing the progress from cheesey 8-bit games to almost insanely realistic characters and/or settings.

…I don’t know if we still own a PS2 anymore. Our last gaming purchase was a Sega Genesis and “Stimpy’s Invention” so Jamie could get eaten by rabid cabbages and that was about 3 years ago. (link goes to Amazon. Jamie paid approximately $1 plus shipping) We also have an FC Twin, which plays both NES and SNES games. This is awesome, but the only downside is the thingies for the controllers are set up for SNES and therefore you’re fucked when you want to play “Duck Hunt.” (we currently have 2 NES consoles that may or may not work, they were given to us and we were told they worked but they don’t work for us. so, of course, they’re in the basement and being ignored. I am also afraid of opening them up and “cleaning them out” as my aunt suggested because I’m afraid I’ll break something.)

When we do play games, we find ourselves mainly playing Mario Brothers (1, 2, or 3). Ok, I lie. Usually Jamie plays and I just throw Mario off a cliff. (and man I want a copy of Mario All-Stars or Mario Kart so bad)

When I play console games, I regress back into a 5 year old. I press buttons, I don’t pay attention to anything (unless I’m playing the Timon-and-Puumba pinball game), and I get irritated quite fast and just kill my character. This may come from childhood where if I wanted to play a game, I got Tetris (woo!), Mario, or Duck Hunt. (unfortunately, by this time Hogan’s Alley was long gone, but I have a copy now! Jamie bought it for my birthday a couple years ago)  I was not, under any circumstances, allowed to touch Fester’s Quest or my dad’s precious “Zelda Gold.”  And within a couple minutes I would be told what to do until I gave up and my dad would play the game for hours. (then again, this might also be why I loathe “Bejeweled.”) And shortly after I play, I complain that my thumbs hurt and I give up. (I also don’t have my “Turtles in Time” game to play, it is currently lost at my mom’s house. I can honestly say, I have played Single Player mode once, it was hard as hell for me when I was little so I always did 2-player. It’s like trying to do “story/fight mode” in the Mortal Kombat games, I can’t do it, I have to do 2-player)

My mom gave me her DS because she hadn’t played it in about 6 months. It came with the brain-game doohicky and it’s not all that interesting (gee, it’s nice to know I have the brain of a 70 year old. I can’t do backwards math that fast) It also came with a puzzle game. I love puzzles. This is “Mystery Case Files” and yes it is a kid’s game. It is also slightly terrifying when you’re arachnophobic.

There is no real “goal” besides going from level to level to find things (it’s an electronic “I Spy“). I’ve beaten the whole story-mode game and happily deleted my dad’s game so I could play it again. The second level, however, I found that it is timed. I hate timed games, especially if they’re puzzles. I always feel like I don’t ever have enough time to do what I need to do in a game to be able to beat the clock and not die in the game. The characters in the game are terribly goofy and I find that I have to prepare myself for a pending panic attack every time I play it.

Instead of console games (like Mean Bean Machine!), I’ve found that I play more computer games. I think this weird fascination started with this 8-bit floppy disk (do these even exist anymore? well, besides the few in the basement) called “Treasure Hunt Math.” It was a goofy game that helped teach basic math because I was terrible at math (I’m still bad at fast mental math). All I remember was something about having to catch coconuts and answer questions.

Screencap of some of the Arcade games you can play on Webkinz. I love Goober's Lab and Tile Towers.

Another computer game that I played numerous times was this bizarre little game called Mind Maze that was like a bonus when you found that you had this extensive thing called Microsoft Encarta. Mind Maze was a weird game where the premise was: you find yourself in a castle that has been cursed by something and you have to go through rooms to get to the red square which lets you go up steps and onto another level. And, to be able to pass through rooms, you had to answer really random questions, which is probably the reason why I know random little factoids and tidbits now. I learned recently that any MS Encarta that was made after 1998 does not have this awesome little feature and I cannot find anywhere that you can play it online (and the computer that had Encarta on it is long gone). Man, I miss that game.

I admit it, I played NeoPets. They do not have Destruct-O-Match or the hide and seek game any longer, so it’s not much fun. Buying stuff is also extremely expensive and apparently half of the things to buy you have to use real-life currency so no. I also started playing Final Fantasy 7, but I never got to finish it as I let a friend borrow it and someone in his family destroyed the last two disks. It was also fucking long. I had American McGee’s Alice and had played a little bit, then my dad erased my game and a couple months later the game itself was stolen. I’m still a bit pissed about that. During this time, I found that I am not a huge fan of RPGs and the Vampire: The Masqueradecomputer game is fucking boring.

I used to play Webkinz almost obsessively. It’s a fun game, the toys are a little expensive, but hey, I have a stegosaurus named Sinclair and that is hilarious to me. They’re also brightly coloured and you have a large selection of games to play. It’s more interaction with your “pet” and I get to play a version of Mahjong that is fun and irritating and I still have yet to get past level 4. Webkinz is a great thing for people who are easily entertained (or who like bright, shiney things and can get excited when they win something or get a slice of cake for their pet’s birthday). It’s also easy to rack up “Kinzcash” (their game money) so you can buy a new room, toy, clothes, or games for your pet and it’s fun to watch your “pet”‘s  face when you make it eat “gak.”

Right now, I have a small routine for the evenings, and that is Facebook games. I am fine to admit it because, hey, it’s a game, and I like puzzles. The puzzle games I play are “Gardens of Time,” which is like a computer version of “Mystery Case Files.” It gets pretty easy when you play the same part over and over, but you have to “buy” all these things to level up so you can play more levels. My space is a clusterfuck of stuff. And the other is “Mystery Manor,” which can be a pain in the ass because the stuff moves, the words are jumbled up, you get a Night level, and eventually the room goes upside down, but you get to kill zombies, “snatchins,” and other creatures, and get some coins, XP, and sometimes even peices of your collections (which range from “platinum lobster cracker” to “femur bone” and thensome.)

I also do “Temple of Mahjong,” which is, well, pretty racist (like Charlie Chan and “The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan” kind of racist). You start out as a “Pilgrim Monk,” which kind of makes sense, but they leave the same face but just change the different types of monk that you are. I try to ignore it, but you get reminded of it every single time you level up. And, I play “Fantasy Kingdoms” because I like bright shiney things and I have a ferret on it. (I am very allergic to ferrets, so this is the closest I can get unless I buy a ferret toy that the cat or one of the dogs will undoubtedly steal). There is no goal in this besides growing things and levelling up, it’s the closest I’ll get to the “___Ville” games because I have more important things to do during the day (like play with the dogs, get lumped, dishes, etc), and I like making messes. As of right now, my goal is to see how many gnomes I can get so I can have an army of gnomes. And trees. (alright, so I just really want to see how much stuff I can cram into the space I have.)

Check out my clusterfuck on Fantasy Kingdoms. (The clear spot is reserved for when I get the magic lamps.) I blew my coins on a Lava Bat...that you can't see.

It does sound like a lot of stuff, but I spend maybe half an hour going through these four games before we go to sleep. It’s something to surf around while we’re snuggling together.

I also love board games (and puzzles, but I mentioned that already). We have a card game called “Spite and Malice” and the entire goal is to kill your opponent by doing things like beating them with a baseball bat. Jamie and I spend more time playing Go Fish and joking around than play Spite and Malice. (please ignore the “new” price on Amazon, you can go to a local retail store and get it for like $5. We also have not played this game since we were in high school)

I’ve never finished a game of Monopoly. It’s long, it get tedious, and even after a week, it’s just not worth it, and it’s really not fun when one person has all four railroads, Park Place, and The Boardwalk. Now, the cats would eat the faux currency and Snooch would whack the pewter game peices under something, and the dogs would attempt to eat the little houses. Bug steals Q-Tips so it would not surprise me if she, or one of the others,  attempted to run off with a piece of green or red plastic.

I really like Stratego, but Jamie hates board games and no one else knows what this game is. (link goes to an Amazon page that shows the box that I grew up with, if it sounds interesting, there are much cheaper versions out there) We’ve learned that Trivial Pursuit is the worst drinking game ever (we have most of the 90s edition. We do pretty well when it’s like 1994 or ’95 and on, but we are so bad at the early 90s things) Life is pretty boring after a while, and for some reason I have this urge to play Candyland. It’s one of those weird childhood games where you have vague memories of them and you just really want to see how long it takes now that you’re older and see if you or your opponent gets stuck. But, again, Jamie does not like board games and once in a blue-moon indulges me when I bother him enough (then we give up after 10 minutes and go do something else. Because we’ve got short attention spans and usually one of the pets is making some sort of noise)

We love putting puzzles together, but Ugly likes to eat the peices. Now that we have dogs and we foster dogs, it’s a bit hard to find a spot where we can build these puzzles and not have to worry about Ugly eating pieces or Snooch trying to play with them, not to mention the dogs. And, since we are the proud parents of wiggle-butts, there’s a higher chance of having a puzzle get attacked by a wagging tail than actually getting finished. Technically puzzles aren’t games, but when cats (or dogs) are involved, all bets are off.

(wow, look at me ramble. this took a bit longer than expected, but I wanted pictures and stuff)

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