Growing Up is Stupid

Trent is a man-child. He's one of my oldest friends here at work. He spends a lot of time in my lab, keeping me half-engaged with his riveting re-tellings of the video games he defeated or the movies he has watched. He spoils them without hesitation and when I mention that I no longer need to see the movie, because of his excellent synopsis, he just looks at me dumbly and says "Huh? Oh. You're welcome!"

I can never tell if he's kidding.

"So, I come into the room and it's all dark and shit. And the floorboards are all glowing red, so I know there's going to be a mini-boss because the wall behind me collapses and ruins the door. I walk towards the middle and I'm all "Fuck. Well? Come on!" but the fucking thing doesn't come. So I'm just stuck there walking around trying to trigger the guy, you know? Fucking annoying. I think it must be a glitch."

I'm trying to get my work done, but he's worn me down, and I give up. I swivel and engage in the conversation I've been trying to ignore.

"So what did you do? Reboot?"
"Nah. There was a cut-scene trigger in the floor by the doorway. I must have missed it when I was strafing. "
"You strafed in through the door?"
"Yeah. In case it was an ambush."
"But you knew it was an ambush."
"That's why I was strafing."
"That's retarded that they are still using triggers. As soon as you walk through the door there should be a cutscene."
'Fuckin'-A. So when are you going to play?"
"I'm not."
"Oh right. Because you turned into a fag."
"No. I just can't do it anymore."
"Can't do what? Game?'re physically too sucky to play?"

It always comes to this. The nerdcore never likes it when one of their own leaves the flock. I stopped gaming around 2002. But Trent still remembers. He and his cohorts are constantly petitioning me to come out and play. The fact is, I have no interest in it. At some point you realize you've pretended to shoot enough monsters, zombies, and nazis for one lifetime. Especially Nazis. Fuck. I must have wiped out the Third Reich like 15 times all by myself over the years. I grew up. Better late than never I guess.

Trent scratches his week old stubble as the pale crescent of his hairy belly sneaks out from under the bottom of his shirt. It looks like some albino cave thing exposed in a beam of flashlight. I look away instinctively, not positive I would turn to stone if I looked at it directly, but unwilling to take the risk.

I can't say that I just decided to stop playing. It was more like a waning thing. I stopped finishing games. I started feeling like every time I booted up, I was going to be doing the same thing I did the night before. Kill.Kill.Kill.Kill.Find new gun.Kill.Kill.Kill.Solve Riddle.Kill.Kill.Kill.Free Prisoner.Kill.Kill.Shoot Nazi Warlord. etc... It was like I was clinging to my childhood. And it doesn't take much introspection for THAT to scare the fuck out of you. So I quit. Cold turkey for the most part. The kids have an Xbox 360 and a Wii, so it's not unheard of for me to play with them from time to time. The Boy likes the huge,sweeping adventure games...but doesn't like to actually play...he likes to watch them like they are a movie, so sometimes I'll jump in if his sister is too busy being a teen to play. But I'm never invested. I'm a substitute for the real thing. Too old to be of use for prolonged stretches. At least that's how it seems when he's telling me:

"No.NO.NO! Dad! To the right!To the right! Ughh! Girrrrlll! Would you come play?Dad's screwing it all up!!!" and then "Sorry, Daddy. But you really are. Maybe you could go read a book or something."

Stupid adulthood.


Anonymous said...

"you're physically too sucky to play?" Bwahahahahahahahaha! Yeah, you totally suck for not being absorbed in lah lah land!

Eli preferring to watch is how I got sucked into Smash Brothers. Wah Wah Waaaaaaaah:p ~Tsunami

Kurt said...

You totally play as Princess Peach, admit it.

Anonymous said...

Fuck you, buddy! I'm PIT!!!! ~Tsu

amy said...

I'm sorry but you did turn into a Fag, it's the best explanation EVER!

I can't sit and play that shit any more either. I got addicted to guitar hero and seriously pulled a muscle...Yeah, I know. My arms freaking cramped up. Suck it.

Kurt said...

@OM: I never played as Pit. I was always Donkey Kong.

Kurt said...

@Amy: You're like Hercules. The muscle that you pulled...what was his name?

Get it? I'm implying that it was some guy's penis!

Grey Street Girl said...

True story - I never had video games growing up and as an adult the only game I've ever played is Tiger Woods Golf (which I loved).

It took me forever to figure out that "left right left right b a start" was a video game reference in that Juno song.

This blog makes me feel mildly retarded. But not like bitterly retarded, just la tee da retarded. I'm happier not knowing.

Kurt said...

Hahahaha. You know I can hear you saying that and it's busting me up.

"la tee da" is the best kind. That's why I employ it so often.

amy said...

yeah...funny man.
I got it.


I haven't even seen Penis in so long. Don't tease me.

Char said...

tetris...and they have it for cell phones now

Kurt said...

@Amy: Heh. My apologies.

Kurt said...

@Char: Yeah. I think a more fun game on the cell phone is "Baby can you come bail me out again?"

xo12 said...

Growing up is, in fact, stupid. But I gave up video games when our Atari 2600 / Collecovision broke. This paved the way for drinking and carousing. That's the adolescent pastime that I'll never grow out of! :P

Mandy said...

I haven't played a video game since Tetris first came out.

Have I told you that everyone in my family is obsessed with video games? My brother, my nephew, my sister, my niece, my MOTHER...we have family get togethers around the television, with everyone watching someone else play a game.


It's like torture for me. It's why I took up reading.

Richard said...

As much as I love you Kurt, and I do mean love, just like it sounds, the sexy kind of love, I don't think becoming less interested in video games means you're growing up.

I lost interest in Links golf a while back, and I've only made it most of the way through Doom 3, so I'm sort of like you. It doesn't hold the interest it once did. But it still does sometimes. And I disagree that gaming gets in the way of drinking, because doing both is fun.

One of the most fun things I do with a buddy of mine is get drunk and play deathmatch on Quake 2 on Nintendo 64. It doesn't matter that the graphics suck or that you can look at your opponent's half of the screen to figure out where he is...if anything that makes it better.

I guess our interests evolve over time, but I don't like to label that growing up. You still have that childlike sense of humor and what have you. You're not some old fart who wants to get up at 4 am to read the paper in the dark, are you?

Are you??

Cynthia said...

Albino cave thing, ouch.

Once you gave me "slack-jawed mouthbreathers". It was better than Christmas.

La tee da retard is pretty damn good too.

Anonymous said...

But killing hookers never gets old, right? LOL!

I'm surprised they haven't written their own game just to kill you off over and over again for leaving the sect.