So I'm at Target this week purusing the video game aisle for some Christmas ideas for the youngest member of the fam. This was my first trip to purchase a video game in maybe 13 years and I have to say, I was a little taken aback. It's not that I haven't played video games since then, I lived in an apartment in college where all disputes were settled over a best-of-three round of Mario Kart. I just hadn't had to go and physically purchase one in a while. Have you seen video games lately? They're insane. I'm not going to judge the merits of someone who creates a game where points for armed robbery are awarded depending upon the level of violence somebody uses, but c'mon. Zapping aliens is one thing but leveling somebody with a spiked bat for their pocket change just seems a little wrong even if all the person really did was crush a few pixels. I'm sitting on my high horse about to jump down onto a soapbox (these metaphors of preachy arrogance doing anything for you?) when I started to reminisce about the games I played as a kid. I saved up for a full year for the $99.99 it cost to buy the (still the greatest of all time) Nintendo Entertainment System in 1988 and remember how stoked I was when the rents came through with Tecmo Bowl, Blades of Steel, and Paperboy that Christmas.
Paperboy is the greatest bicycle-related game of all time. Try to name another one. You can't. Aside from playing as Lawrence Taylor and being able to cover the ENTIRE field in Tecmo Bowl, it really didn't get any better than getting double points for delivering more than one paper into a single mailbox. I had a paper route as a kid and I think two papers at one address was always frowned on. Kind of a disparity between the game and real life I guess. One gripe I do have about the game was that break dancers were supposed to be your enemies. For the most part, I always believed break dancers to be friendly people (except when you get served) who would enjoy receiving a newspaper. When questioned, my Dad told me that they probably didn't subscribe to the newspaper and that's why they were obstacles in the game. I think that was my Dad's way of teaching me that nothing in life comes free. I don't remember any random break dancing going on during my paper route but I guess if I did, I would have tried to avoid it. Kind of takes away from the task at hand of delivering papers. I think that was Nintendo's way of teaching kids to stay on task. Thank you, Nintendo.