Pong, Pac-Man and PlayStation

I am not a video game person.  I never have been.   Even when I was young (very young!) and Atari and Intellivision arrived on the scene, I lacked interest.  Maybe I was too busy with swim team practices and dance lessons, or maybe on some level I knew my hand-eye coordination was a little on the pathetic side.  Regardless, Frogger, Donkey Kong and Pac-Man’s female counterpart, Ms., never did it for me.

So imagine how perplexed I am by my daughter’s obsession with all things media.  DS, Wii, iTouch – if left to her own devices, she could spend hours, maybe days, with these little machines and their carefully choreographed digital adventures.  Sometimes I look at her and wonder, “If I never set a time limit…if I never pushed or prodded…Would she eat?  Would she sleep?  Would I find her locked in a room channeling Howard Hughes?”  But I do set time limits, and I do push and prod, and time spent playing DS, Wii and iTouch is “earned” in my house, only to be used on the weekends and only in set increments (usually a half hour).  It may not be the perfect parenting strategy, but it works for me most of the time.

With the “obsession” kept somewhat in check, what I then find challenging is the cost of digital entertainment.  Wii, DS, and PlayStation games are not cheap, and I feel as though there’s always some new gadget we “have to have:” a steering wheel for Mario Kart, a special mat for a dance game, headgear and 3D eyeglasses…Wait a second, headgear?  Eyeglasses?  Do my vision and dental benefits cover those?

But a good buddy recently introduced me to GameStop, where so many games and accessories and even headgear (Again, headgear?  Note to self: Review the Summary Plan Description for orthodontia and verify coverage ASAP!) are either offered at a discount or can be purchased used.

So go check out the savings and treat your mini Marios and Luigis to a new adventure at a discount.  Just be sure to pick up a cute kitchen timer from Jo!e so you can remember to shout “Time’s up!” before they think WuHu Town is an acceptable answer to any question on their next geography test.

Happy gaming!

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