So, we have an Excessive Heat Warning here. It’s been something we’ve been bracing for since Thursday. Currently, it’s in 83 degrees, but feels like 91 and it isn’t even 8 AM. I have a friend’s daughter’s birthday to go to this afternoon, so I’m staying inside since it’s a pool party. Might not be outside that much. The ex-wife is supposed to swing by the party with our son since he hasn’t seen my high school friends in a while. We’re going to see how this all goes. Seems she wasn’t sure if I told my friends about the divorce too, which had me scratching my head. I’ve known these guys for decades, so I’d tell them pretty quickly.
I will say that it’s still awkward being around couples, especially those with kids. I feel like an extra wheel and can’t always join in parts of conversations. Hard to share family plans when you only see your kid every other weekend and briefly throughout the week. It isn’t the custody plan that does this as much as the summer job. Yeah, we’re going to do a segue here.
The summer job is not calming down at all. I get home late and exhausted, so I stare at my 100+ emails and 50+ tweet notifications like they’re an army of invaders. There’s a break room that I recently found out about, so I step into there when my game rooms are running smoothly. This is mostly for quiet because the arcade is insanely loud and my ears are left ringing. You realize how tense you are when you walk into utter quiet and feel your entire body sag a bit. This break has allowed me to answer texts from friends and family as well as handling blog comments. The pocket notebook I’m carrying around isn’t getting any use since they changed the schedule and now there isn’t a single quiet period in the arcade. I take my official break to eat, but there isn’t a solitary place during this time for me to do anything. Not that my brain is operating in author mode. Hate to say it, but I haven’t thought about my stories in weeks. Only that I really wish I could get back to looking at them.
I want to talk about kids and video games here. Now, I grew up with video games starting with Pong then the Atari 2600 and I played NES at friends’ houses. Got a Super NES at 13 and there were friends with various Sega systems. My point is that I was really active with games up until the PS3/Wii era when I couldn’t afford it. While parents complained about them, we still went outside. These were also where we gathered and talked. Sure, we played, but we joked around and interacted with each other. The players were all in the same room and those not playing would be doing something else. I know it’s hard for people older than me to understand at times, but home gaming systems and arcades were our skating rinks and whatever else were hangouts. I still remember getting together with my best friend and playing ‘Rampage’ all day because we were determined to see how it ended. This is a memory that included a lot of goofing off. So, why am I talking about this like an old man?
Because I’m seeing how modern kids act with games. There are meltdowns, bullying, lack of sharing, and chaos here. To be fair, it’s only over Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The NES, Super NES, and PS4 don’t get the problematic reactions. This is a fighting game, but the sports ones are competitive too. It wouldn’t even be so bad if some of the kids who play at home didn’t dominate and get upset if they have to surrender the controller. I really don’t want the game to be removed because it can keep 6 kids occupied, but they might push me to this point. Still, this isn’t even the strangest part because even my generation got heated with the fighting games. The difference to me comes from when I have to do something with the system. Here’s the tale:
I bought a new controller for the Nintendo Switch to allow for 6 players, but I needed to get it set up. I showed up right when the camp opened and thought I’d have time to figure it out. Genius that I am, I forgot the instructions. By the time I had set up the other rooms and settled in, kids began showing up. 3 of them came charging in (another issue) to pounce on the Switch where I was working. I asked them (sternly) to give me some space while I got the controller set up. All 3 stand about 2 feet behind me and stared with unblinking eyes at me while I tried to do this. I couldn’t because it wasn’t working and I was unnerved. So, I left and researched the controller. Came back later and asked if they could stop after the match and let me try something. They verbally agreed, which was a good sign. The INSTANT I switched the game to the system menu, the entire group (at least 7 kids) turn their heads to me and stare at the same time. They did not look away and there was no more talking. I swear, their eyes were glazed over and it was like they went into ‘Children of the Corn’ mode. Now, my son gets obsessed and will become angry if I take the games away. I’ve found that I prefer that reaction to what drove me out of the room. I left again and walked through the lobby telling the other counselors that I’m not going back in there until the room is clear.
So, that’s my story of the week. I’m sorry I’m not that active, but I get home from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM with very little energy. All I do are puzzles, which I’ll get into tomorrow if I can’t think of any other posts. I’ve got 1 that I’m working on, 14 in a pile next to my bed, and 3 coming in the mail. Might have a problem while I attempt to fill the creative void in my life. They’re pretty cool though. The list includes:
- Boba Fett art photo.
- Star Wars Panorama
- 8 Underwater ones of various sizes and shapes.
- Thomas Kinkade Batman Street Battle
- Thomas Kinkade Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman photo
- Marvel Funko Pop Collage
- DC Funko Pop Collage
- Justice League art shot
- (Coming) Labyrinth Poster
- (Coming) Dark Crystal Poster
- (Coming) Adam West Batman
I really wish I could find some anime puzzles and more variety in video game ones because I’m not interested in Mario. Wish I could find an Ocarina of Time puzzle, but most Zelda ones are Breath of the Wild. Not sure why I have the puzzle obsession really. Guess we’ll find out one day. It might die off since I can’t find them easily. Not the types that I like anyway. Stores primarily have artsy, nature, Star Wars, and Disney ones. Figures that I get into a hobby and suddenly it’s hard to find the things.
So, what are the goals of the week?
- Stay cool
- Survive another week of camp
- Prepare for son’s birthday next weekend