I was fifteen when I got my first computer. It was an Intel 386 (yes, I’m that old) and the first few games I got my hands on were - space invaders, pong and Wolfenstein 3D. Playing Wolf gave me a headache and induced nausea so I played a lot of space invaders and pong. I got pretty good at both of them after a while.
Over time, I got more games, I upgraded to better computers, played even more games, and eventually forgot all about pong and space invaders.
That was until a few months ago.
I think I was reading Scott Pilgrim when I remembered how incredibly satisfying old DOS games were. A few minutes later, I was downloading pong and getting ready to kick ass.
The adrenalin rush lasted for all of five minutes.
The damn computer beat me. Over and over again it humiliated me. I briefly consider switching to easy mode, but quickly dismissed the thought. I didn’t want to risk losing in the easy mode as well. My ego wouldn’t be able to take it. So I kept at it until the margin of defeat wasn’t all that bad; compared to what I started off with anyway.
I quit, because I’m a quitter, and I downloaded space invaders. Surely it wouldn’t turn out to be as bad as the pong incident.
I was - for lack of a better word - wrong.
The bigger, badder, meaner games had made me stupid. Cheat codes had made me stupid. I was used to pointing a gun at things and blowing them up. These skill based games were showing me what an idiot I’d grown up to be.
And I began to wonder what else I’d forgotten to be good at.