Monday, March 9, 2009

Memories Are Made of This

I identify a lot with Eve. It took me every bit as much work to convince my Dear Professor to admit an Atari console into our house as it did for Eve to convince Adam to eat that apple, or tomato, or whatever it was. That old Atari was an antiquated machine by today's standards (remember Pong?), but every bit as mesmerizing. Years afterward I can still see the image of my Dear Professor, the anti Atari poster boy, playing an extremely competitive game of Pac Man with Son 1 (and enjoying every minute!)

That was how it began. Through the years a succession of game machines have paraded through our household. All three of our brood--Son 1, Principessa, and Son 2--have enjoyed electronic gaming with each other and their friends. We even have the "I saved the Princess" patches to prove it! I tried to stay up with the kids, but fell far behind. Especially with the Civilization series. I just didn't understand the paradigm.

Then along came the Wii. I remember the first commercials and wondering, what on earth was that all about? I was as ignorant of Wii gaming as the powers that be are of how to fix our current economic situation. But there was hope for me on the horizon.

One summer, while visiting my sister, iPodite, in a land far, far away from the Frozen North, she suggested we do some bowling on her new game machine, a Wii. In my day I was a decent bowler, having been on a team in high school, so I said, bring it on.

The first task was to create my mii, my game character. That was a lot of fun. I could see this could be trouble. After a few warm up games of bowling and tennis I was hooked. The following Christmas our family gift was a Wii system. Life has not been the same since.

iPodite suggested we try a game called "Endless Ocean", one of the first "online" games for the Wii. I cannot tell you how many hours we spent, she in the land far, far away and me in the Frozen North, visiting each other's boat and diving together. And training our fishy friends, and discovering buried treasure, and riding WHALES! And learning about sea creatures we didn't know existed.

MLC & Angel
(yes, that's mii, with my dolphin friend--& I was nerdy enough to snap a pic for posterity!)

It was a lot of fun, and a wonderful bonding experience for two sisters who never really had much of a relationship until well into our thirtysomething year. Son 2, our resident gaming expert, turned up his nose at the mention of the Wii, calling it an "entry level system for old ladies."

But that was about to change. Enter the release of Super Mario Kart, a game that was a favorite of all our kids when they WERE kids. Son 2 sidled up to me one day last fall and suggested that Super Mario Kart was not a bad idea for a Christmas gift. Well, you can probably guess the rest.

We spent last Christmas together in North Carolina: me, Dear Professor, Son 1 and Beautiful Mommy, the Sprittles, Principessa, and Son 2. The highlight of that time for me, second only to the birth of Sprittle number 3 the day after Christmas, was the sight of our 3 grown children, plastic mini steering wheels in hand, playing Super Mario Kart with the older 2 Sprittles playing right along.

As Dean Martin once sang, memories are made of this.

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