Sunday, November 07, 2004

My Mom is an Addict

A friend of mine sent me a program with all the old Koleco Vision games on it. Mr. Doo, Pepper II, BurgerTime, Ladybug, Miner 49er, Frogger, BoulderDash, Defender....On and on the list goes...

If you know any of these, you, like myself were a child of the 80's. Before PlayStation and XBox we had Atari and Koleco Vision. The very first video game system we got in our household was called Odyssey.

My parents were adamant about us not having one of these in our house, but said if we could pay for it we could get it. At this time, you could probably buy a decent used car for the price of a video game system. I'm sure they figured we would never do it.

You would think they would know how stubborn their own children were, wouldn't you?

After a winter of snow shoveling, Christmas Caroling (we had no shame), paper delivering, raffling of my older sister's bike (she never rode it anyway), and dog walking (Donder and Blitzen two huge dogs that really walked us), we had the money for our precious video game system that spring.

We had enough money to buy one game, so we got KC Munchkin. KC Munchkin was a Pac-Man rip off. My brother and I excitedly hooked it up to an old 13" TV, as my parents wouldn't let us hook it up to the regular TV.

My Mom came into the room shaking her head as we started to play. Then something happened. She started intently looking at the screen. Then she started barking orders at us. "You should have went right!" "Go get all the wafers at the bottom first!" "Don't eat the magic pellet until half the screen is gone!"

Finally she ripped the controller from us just to "show us" what to do.

We haven't ever gotten the controller back.

She played and played and played. We finally started whining about how we worked for the money for it and it was ours. "Get me my purse," was her answer to that, and she gave us the money back for the game. I'm pretty sure at that moment I saw how a person trying to score their second hit of coke acts.

Within the next couple of days it was hooked up to the regular TV, and my Mom was getting better with sharing. We had gotten some two player games, so at least we got to play once she got killed. There was only one problem with this though-she was good, real good. Way better then us. The balance of power was way off kilter.

The good thing about this is when the gaming industry picked up and new systems came out, we were always the first ones to get them. Atari, check. Sega Genesis, check. Nintendo, check. She even managed to get my Father semi-addicted, so we pretty much gave up on video games considering there were no controllers left for us.

My Mom even melted a MegaMania tape in the Atari when she finally turned it over. That was classic.

She also learned about the local arcade. One time when she was dropping my brother and I off she decided to come in. There she was, slowly walking through the arcade with her Farrah hair and tight Gloria VanDerbilt jeans. Being a small child I always assumed she gathered a crowd because of how she always beat everyone's high scores, but as an adult I realize it probably had more to do with the Farrah hair and tight jeans.

After that we would go about once a week to make sure that "Suzy-Q" was listed as the top scorer on most of the games.

It's 20 years later, and she's still a video game freak. She has PlayStation II and XBox. They have a video game room with the new games and also the old Odyssey, Atari, Sega, and Nintendo. Nice big screen TV, too. She still gets the highest scores, and my nephews think it is coolio that their Grandma can whip their ass at almost every game there is.


princessr9 said...

Oh the memories. We bought our son a used Sega Genesis about a year ago and one day I was trying to show him how to play the game. Everything goes a little fuzzy here, I remember coming to when I actually yelled at my 2 year old daughter to move because she was blocking the screen. I had to unclutch my fingers from around the controller. It was awful, I told my husband to hook it up to the other TV, out of sight, out of mind. That stuff is terribly addicting.

NeoLestat said...

Abso awesome post. I too remember every console you mentioned, my parents had hang ups about me playing video games too. Thing was, they never caught the bug and never was a console allowed to be hooked to the family TV (lame excuses about screen burn... never would the step father listen that screen burn only happened if you had an 80" rear projection TV and you left a game on pause for like three days, so an excuse me thinks!) I now over compensate having my own TV and house, I have a TV version of the Borg, it has been assimilated by the brand conscious video game market and sits buried amongst a sea of controllers and black boxes... ahhhh the days... pac man, dig dug, manic miner.