Old Grandma Hardcore

This blog is the chronicle of my experiences with Grandma, the video-game playing queen of her age-bracket and weight class. She will beat any PS2, XBox, GameCube, etc., console game put in front of her, just like she always has. These are her stories. She is absolutely real. She lives in Cleveland.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

On The Importance Of Family

Our house is possibly the polar opposite of the traditional images of "family." Our Thanksgiving dinner is usually prepared and devoured in perfect sequence; the table is set but it is a mere formality, a useful function to decide how many plates, forks and knives will be needed before everyone digs into the bounty and returns to their respective places, be it a television or a gaming system or comfortably bullshitting with visiting relatives- anywhere but sitting around a plank of wood.

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."


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.

Game on!

[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!!]


  • At 4:22 PM, Anonymous Vickie Marquez said…

    Hoooooly tolito

    I just saw the Quicktime interview with your Grams and I'm am completely BLOWN A-WAY.

    You go Grandma! Good luck on GoW's God Mode! I just finished Hard Mode (There were many times I just cried) so I can't even begin to fanthom God Mode!

    ~Vickie, Fort Smith, NWT, Canada

  • At 11:46 PM, Blogger Me said…

    Tell her that the fools who bought at launch are sorry; many of them are hanging, not playing games, scratching discs, ect... being called the "crashbox" on many a forum. Hell, the first playstations set carpet on fire...

    Yeah, Yuffie totally turned feminazi with her "Discrimination!" bs. Tifa was awesome, and Aeris all but said "CLOUD STOP THE GUILT GO TO TIFA MORON". I heard a thousand angsty teenage girl fanfic writers screaming in horror after that movie, lol. If Square had released that instead of that spirits within bullshit, they totally would have rocked the box office.

    Happy Thanksgiving/Xmas/New Year!!

  • At 12:20 AM, Anonymous Tolmek said…

    Playing through Fatal Frame III right now, myself. This may help: you can replenish a base supply of 50 07-Film, 30 14-Film, and 3 Herbal Medicines by leaving the house through one of the 3 main entrances and re-entering the dream. The entrances are indicated on the map by big blue arrows. Currently, I'm stuck on the last battle. (Yet another one-hit kill move. *sigh*) Still, I love the game. Especially when the creepy starts bleeding into the "real" house. Heh.

  • At 1:45 AM, Anonymous J Money said…

    Absolutely SWEET movie, eh? I managed to snag a copy myself. BEAUTIFUL graphics, great story... I was most certainly impressed.
    That's very unique that your family is full of gamers! I was fortunate to have my cousin around this Thanksgiving so I could at least watch him play some Half-Life 2 on his X-Box to give me some entertainment. Nothing like turkey and a machine gun!

  • At 3:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    not knowing much about ff7 (except what i saw in my copy of the best movie ever, advent children) i have to wonder: is Yuffie like that in the game? after playing Kingdom Hearts, i thought she'd be like Rikku or Selphie, the token "insane" member of the group-good for a laugh, not much else. in the movie, she seems...just annoying.

    of course, Bahamut couldn't have been any cooler...i think i'll go watch it for about the 7th time, excuse me...

  • At 1:45 PM, Blogger Chrissylas said…

    I have GOT to get advent children. I have a copy only it is in Japanese minus the all important subtitles. I've heard nothing but good things surrounding Dragon Quest VIII. I might have to attempt to track that down this christmas. One question, has Grandma ever played the Shadow Hearts series?

  • At 9:20 PM, Blogger Bi-coastal Eddie said…

    Tell OGHC that I'm looking right back at her...:)...and that I finally got past the hoors on the stairs, but only with my 2nd game which I had to start just so I could save up my 61 film. One of the problems I now realize with my first game was that it takes around 30 full on fatal frame hits on each one of those bitches if you're using 14 film. Now I'm in the death battle at the end of the Miku chapter in my 2nd game and Christ almighty please tell me I'm not looking at having to start a 3rd game cuz then I will have to go buy a new controller. Game On!

  • At 5:58 PM, Anonymous John said…

    This post was very awesome. I'd love to see more like it.

  • At 12:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Let her knowbuy D3 Goldthe fools which bought at launch usually are i'm sorry; most of them are generally dangling, certainly not playing video games, damaging discs, ect... becoming called the "crashbox" about a lot of some sort of community.Guild Wars 2 Gold Heck, the 1st playstations arranged floor covering burning down


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