On The Importance Of Family
Sometimes, however, we have our Americana moments.
That is, if you count all of us crammed into Grandma's room watching Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children with the amp turned to dangerous levels, loudly debating RPGs importance within the history of gaming as "traditional." In our defense, we did manage to get everyone in the same room without bloodshed.
It is important to note first that each member of our family, immediate and extended, could easily be construed as a gamer even in the most conservative definition of the term.
My mother, Linda, has just completed Sly Cooper 3, sans the included 3D glasses. She would tease Grandma and I while we waged war in Growlanser Generations, or basically every Final Fantasy we've ever played.
Mom - "What I don't get is you have these tiny sprite characters just sort of ...dancing on screen; I mean look at their legs! They don't do anything but bounce up and down- bounce up and down... look- this is what they do [demonstrates bouncing] the whole time, and then sometimes they'll look like their walking but they aren't really going anywhere, like some Bugs Bunny cartoon- and THEN; then you have these three monsters, all lined up who WAIT to attack you while you build up magic or something and it's always "I SUMMON THE GIANT MONSTER TO KILL YOU!!", big monster comes out of the sky, huge explosions, the earth shakes, trees fall over..... and then, after everything... you see this little number appear, just this.. little tiny number like "200 health points" or something FROM ALL THAT WORK! Now explain to me why that's so cool?"
Grandma/Me/The Kids - "WHAT?! How can you say that shit!?"
Grandma - "There's a LOT more to it than that, there is STORY, there is STRATEGY-"
Me - "They do the little bounce thing because they have to stay in motion otherwise they'll be easier to- come on, haven't you seen a Kung Fu movie? They don't just STAND there, they... you know, GROOVE a little."
Mom - "OR! Hold on, OR.. whatabout these skimpy little outfits the girls ALWAYS wear in these games."
Grandma - "What about Sly Cooper? You liked that game and the chick is dressed sexy."
Mom - "That was a FOX. That doesn't count. EVERY single girl is dressed in ways that wouldn't make it very easy for them to FIGHT."
Grandma/Me/The Kids - "WHAT ABOUT TIFA?? WHAT ABOUT SAMUS??"
Mom - "Who's Tifa?"
And that's how it began. We put Advent Children into the PS2 and watched it together. Shouts of "Marlene! Cool, they brought her into this one!" and "Vincent!! Barret! CID!! Yuffi is STILL annoying... Rude! That's exactly how I pictured Rude, man" filled the room, with Mom drifting off into a Turkey slumber, the sopophoric effects of her misunderstanding of the plot and her giving up battles about the lack of realistic physics portrayed in the game forcing a mid day sleep.
After it was over, Grandma put in a demo my brother Josh had brought her: Dragon Quest VIII. We all played for awhile, SquareEnix finding its way into our hearts once again. Grandma is DEFINITELY going to give this one a shot, just after she finishes pulling out her hair and cutting strange symbols in her arm over the frustration that is Fatal Frame III: The Tormented.
Grandma is stuck in the sixth chapter of the game, she has very little film and no way to replenish her supply. Thanks to the warnings you guys have been shooting our way [ Bi-Coastal Eddie, I'm looking at you :) ] she knows it's only going to get worse. Grandma is ready to start the thing over again if necessary so she can finish. It won't be the first time she's had to "restart that fucking GAME." In fact, the original Fatal Frame had just such a false surrender.
Grandma sent out a notice to all those on her friends list on XBox Live that had "XBox 360 Dashboard" or "Call of Duty 2" that she "is jealous as hell" and "hates them." To anyone who didn't get the tongue in cheek qualities of the message: Grandma doesn't hate you. She just has the Green-Eye as they say when it comes to the 360. Grandma looks at the riots outside Maryland Best Buys and horror stories of armed robbery and massive theft over the console with a chuckle and a shake of the head, however in every radio interview with the woman in the past week or so she has said right out "I'd kill for one."
Grandma will get her XBox 360 one day. She has to.
It will not, however, involve a felony.
[Sorry for the lack of posts lately, and I'm sorry I haven't replied to all your e-mails and questions yet (I will!) We used the holiday as an excuse to get ready for the big move coming up. A major bonus of the move includes a Game Room all for Grandma :) Also, we have BIG news coming soon, folks. HUGE. (And also T-shirts) More posts coming tomorrow! Hassah!!]