Eventually, we’ll outgrow a lot of things–video games and my love for Pit of Kid Icarus being some of ‘em. But that doesn’t mean you’re not game anymore. It’s your game world and you just gotta tell yourself “Game, girl.”
A few days ago, this was me. I don’t recall when I held my console last but I do remember feeling so kick-ass as a child when I did. Fight back to 2017, I wiped Rustboro and Dewford Gyms ez and was on my way to Mauville City when I saw that I only had 4% left on my battery. With the warning of the blinking red light, I knew my phone had to chill, but me? I still have some HP. (Even without lunch!)
“Do you want to save the game?” “A” “Is it ok to overwrite it?” “A”
The same day that I started a new game in Pokemon (that was the only ROM file on my phone that was left but gotta admit, Pokemon’s a classic), I got home excited and rummaged through my stuff like a dog released from its leash. And I found it: my trusty old Nintendo! My best friend.
Relatives would give my younger brother video games for Christmas. I got the typical pink shirts and lotion gift sets and sighed loudly, hoping they get the sign. Yes, I was an ungrateful little bitch. But lucky for me, my brother was the opposite. He grew up to be a kind not-so-little munchkin, who was okay with us sharing stuff. (Or I just get to use his stuff–I doubt he’ll ever want my pink shirts.)
I spent so much of my childhood in pixelated places–with love from bulky translucent consoles to flip ones to dual screens and even levelling up to playstations and motion sensor goodies! I’ve got to be thankful for science for bestowing such blessings to digital-life-invested beings like me.
In between the 1s and 0s, I am an infinite of things. (Maybe even a peanut sized Donkey Kong, SWDBS reference anyone?) In real life though, I am just me. Or me with a phone that obvs has a battery that sucks. But that’s what I loved most about video games. As I lived the lives of Link, Mario, Ash Ketchum, and even as chibi farmer me in Harvest Moon, I can choose to save the game and shut the console down–knowing very well that I can power it up again anytime and pick it up exactly where I left things off. In between, I can rest. I can figure things out. I can even Google me some cheats when I’m desperate! (Don’t take 80% of my advice, this included. Don’t cheat!)
On the other hand–real life isn’t as convenient. There’s no save option. I can’t just power off when I’m tired. Reality goes on and on even when you happen to do something outrageously stupid. (Not accidentally send myself flying off a cliff stupid–but close.)
These are things I picked up through time. (And space when you go as Spyro!) And you eventually just learn to accept it. Life, I figured, isn’t as simple as a 10-minute brawl; though you do need a few tactics up your sleeve for both. My game girl skills can only go as far as beating the asses off online people I’ve never met–enjoying my triumph and smiling awkwardly as GummyMinMin35 grabs a slot on the leaderboard.
*CG voice with horns in the background: “Victory!”*
With the XP points your character gains, real you experiences puberty (did I really?), fight petty fights, take tests that aren’t as exciting as “Find the key and solve the puzzle”, like a real breathing person, and learn some things off the screen that are, for most, worth keeping.
I’m playing again today. I don’t feel as kick-ass as I would before when I press that Ready Player One button. (Maybe just a glow of the hipster slash cool kid on the block vibe?) Because there really comes a time when we outgrow a lot of things–my love for Pit of Kid Icarus being one of ‘em. I know though that As and Bs and my thumb on the joystick will always ignite the little kid inside–remind nerdy old anti-social freak me that in some way, I do know how to kick ass. So go do it. It’s your game world and you just gotta tell yourself “Game, girl.”