It's on like Donkey Kong! 

Part of the problem, I think, about my not posting anything lately is that I feel that I should always post a picture of something with every post. Unfortunately, I haven't felt like photographing anything lately. In order to photograph something, you need to get out of the house and do something interesting, and I've been reluctant to do much of anything. Instead, I've been spending the majority of my time in Azeroth and the Eastern Kingdoms fighting dragons and exploring dungeons and such.

Yes. It's true. I've been spending most of my time lately playing the World of Warcraft game. For those who know, I have a level 70 protection Paladin and have been doing my utmost to gain enough reputation with the Shattered Sun Offensive to get that one shield. If I sound like a huge nerd, I suppose that's because I am one. It's useless to deny it. I just signed up for the lottery to play in the Beta Release of the upcoming expansion. I might get in, and I might not. Thankfully, I am an old fart, so I am not going to be crushed if I don't manage to get accepted. This is not 1986 and, despite all appearances, I've gained a little wisdom and maturity since my teenage years. It could be fun, but I'm not going to be losing any sleep.

My history with video games goes way back. I had a ColecoVision for crying out loud. A game system with one of the worst controllers ever! The box art on the cartridges were way more exciting than some of the games which, looking back, strongly indicated the need for imagination when playing them. If you could pretend that square dot on the screen was the barbarian from the game's box-cover, or that suspiciously duck-like looking object was actually a fire-breathing dragon, then you could enjoy these games like I did back then.

My favorite character in the history of Video Games is Cranky Kong (who appeared much later than the ColecoVision). Cranky Kong would frequently tell his younger relatives, Donkey and Diddy, about the hardships he faced in the early days of gaming. "Back in my day, we just had one button: and it was for jumping! And we were grateful to have it!" Sometime, I feel like him when I talk about these old systems. My sister nearly killed herself laughing when I showed her an original Atari 2600. ("OMG! It has wood panelling?!") Um, yes. Yes, it did.

When I was about eleven or so, I got in big trouble when I spent nearly $25 dollars on the Wizard of Wor game at the local 7-11, a convenience store about a mile and half from where I lived. I had to walk through a couple of trash-filled empty lots of tall scrubby weeds to get there. And I must have irritated more than my share of convenience store workers by turning in 100 dirty pennies, some of which had turned green with oxidation, and some which had been previously lost in couch cushions or on the floorboards of an old Toyota, just so I could get four quarters and spend about eight whole minutes playing the original Donkey Kong game.

I'm not that bad now. I have a Playstation 2 that I haven't touched in several months, and I can't even imagine spending $600 dollars on a Playstation 3. Even if the thing could make coffee and serve me breakfast in bed, $600 would be just way, way too much. But, when I have the spare moments and the inclination, I'm probably on my computer trying to gather enough netherbloom and slay enough demons to get that stupid shield. In a few small ways, it will be nice when the summer vacation is over and I can forget about shields, save the $15 bucks a month I spend for flying around on magic gryphons, and focus on school again.

10 July 2008
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