Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Game On

I think, when you do the comedy, its near impossible to ever switch off doing any work. The sole purpose of me going away for a week was to avoid all comedy based activities and just enjoy some sort of a holiday. Yet already three days in and I've done several emails that 'needed' to be sent, invoiced a few things that I'm hoping will mean I can enjoy the rest of the holiday without just eating sandwiches, jotted down a few gags and here I am, once again, blogging. Don't get me wrong, this is the bit I enjoy, but I've become increasingly aware that in trying to switch my brain off from such activities I've not been paying any attention to anything you might remotely find enjoyable as a reader. Take yesterday for example. I mean, don't take it. That would create a gaping hole in the time continuum and really upset the general happenings of everyday existence. That wasn't what I meant at all. Neither do I want you to look at yesterday as that would require some sort of amazing past vision, you'd be heralded as a witch and then dunked in a pond till you drowned (they do still do that don't they? Although now its just called being a crap diver). What I mean is, let's take yesterday as an example.

Keith (of the Farnan variety) and his girlfriend Ginny (of the Gilbert variety) are the bestest hosts ever. Despite just being general fun and top banter merchants, there has been no pressure to really do much while being here. Much as I have been told by many others, there isn't heaps to see in Dublin (complain at will Dublinites who say otherwise), so all sight seeing has been restricted to excellent pubs before eating pizza and watching - what is arguably one of the greatest films ever - Ghostbusters. As far as I'm concerned, there is little all else you could want on a holiday. Except cake. That was there as well, making Keith and Ginny medal worthy and should probably gain their own Michelin stars for such service. However being slightly more adventurous yesterday, myself and Keith embarked on something that has been planned for months, a visit to the Game On exhibition, a collection of retro computer games. Suddenly with that sentence I can feel the 25-40 something male readers (all two of them) grin ear to ear with reminiscent visions of kicking each others faces off on Streetfighter 2, or already humming the horribly irritating plinky tones of the Bubble Bobble theme. Meanwhile women of the same age quietly close the browser expecting the rest of this blog to get the train to yawnsville and younger readers laugh knowing that they live in an age where computer games are so good they're used to train fighter pilots (this fact is true. I am well clever).

Purchasing a two hour ticket, knowing full well hours and hours of our lives could be wasted away inside, we entered the game zone. Being two of only four people in there on a Tuesday afternoon, we had run of the place. The aim was to start chronologically and so we started with Pong, until realising 15 minutes in we had wasted an 8th of our time on Pong. Its amazingly addictive until you realise you'll go blind watching the same paddle and ball for ages on end, the same blip noise has been penetrating your skull and ultimately there really are more exciting things to be done. Galaxian, Mario Kart, Sonic Stream, Neo Geo games, Virtua Fighter, Street Fighter and many others all happened within the rather odd, dark hallway lined with arcades and consoles. Several minutes were spent boxing each other to death on Monkey Ball. There is very little in life as enjoyable as watching monkeys in bubbles punch each other with giant boxing gloves. It strikes me as nothing but amazing that telly hasn't indulged in such things. Sure animal cruelty and all that, I suppose, but I bet they'd enjoy it. I mean, I'd enjoy it. Maybe just stick me in a bubble with a boxing glove and I'll happily hit things. I just don't think people would enjoy seeing that as much as watching a capuchin uppercut a gorilla. That's all I'm saying.

Anyway, so it was all much fun. Until we started to play Halo on the Xbox 360 which they had set up for 4 players. Myself and Keith leaped on this as opportunity to shoot each other until intermittently other, younger, better gamers would join for 5 minutes, and kill us both. Keith would be killed and he'd ask if I did that. I'd reply that I couldn't work out where he was on the game map and then start jumping against a wall all confused, as I'd be shot in the back of the head and a skinhead fat kid opposite us would smirk then move on. This happened again, and again, and again. Eventually we moved back to the old games, but by now, the magic of nostalgia had long since passed and instead clunky controls and graphics that could cause an epileptic fit in a second just didn't seem as fun. There was nothing in the way of information about the game or the history of computing and for clever, ahem and mature, ahem people like us, it felt like the whole thing was an exercise in brain draining. Keith redeemed times by giving 'Lizardman' a character in Soul Caliber, his own theme song, but ultimately, with 3 minutes to spare on our tickets we rubbed our sore eyes and left, glad that technology has taken a step forward. Still, much fun overall and things were all healed with a hot whisky nearby.

Now what I could do, is end this here blog with a clever insight into how memories create these rose tinted images of things that were ultimately shit. About how the gaming world is no country for old men. Or even about how there is always a tubby, skinheaded child at all of these events, that somehow, beyond comprehension, will piss you off in one way or another. But I won't do any of these things. I'm on holiday. Instead you can have meaningless anecdotes. Then when I return I will bestow Confucius like wisdom on all yo' asses. Sorry, confused wisdom. That's what I meant. Confused.

1 comment: