So Much Fun It HURTS!

One aspect of video gaming that has never bothered me is repetition. After all, back in the early 80’s, that’s pretty much all we HAD. “Game Over” meant you ran out of ships or had to leave the arcade for some non-game related reason. I don’t mind doing the same thing over and over again as long as its fun, and if all I get at the end is a high score, I’m fine by that.

I think it’s also why I have never played any online RPGs for any extended period of time. I know that if I were to get hooked on a MMORPG I would probably never come out.

With arcades dead and gone, I feed my desire for arcade-style gaming goodness with Nintendo DS and Xbox Live Arcade games. Fortunately, they are relatively cheap and quite satisfying. Every now and then, though, I will come across a game that I just cannot stop playing until I am in some degree of pain. This is particularly true of the Nintendo DS; one hallmark of a good DS game (in my opinion) is that I can keep playing it and playing it until the stylus leaves a painful indentation in my thumb. Mental note: I need to take a picture of that the next time it happens.

The most extreme example of this was a game called Meteos. I’m a sucker for a good puzzle game, and Meteos was just the thing to burn away the hours while working the late shift at a call center a few years ago. If nobody was calling, I would be happily tapping away at my trusty red DS trying to beat my high scores. With a combination of a really good battery life, no supervisors present, and available plugs for my charger, I could easily spend most of my shift playing Meteos, followed by a sore thumb on my right hand.

This went on for a few weeks until I noticed some recurring pain in my left arm. It got to be quite a nuisance, so I went to see my doctor about it. He examined my arm, bent it this way and that, asked does this hurt, does that hurt, yadda yadda yadda. It turns out I had “tennis elbow” in my left arm. The same left arm I was using to hold up the DS (the ol’ fat DS, BTW) while playing Meteos all those hours. Heaven help me, I did not have the nerve to tell the doctor. A bottle of pain meds and a lot less Meteos later, and I was back to abnormal.

Elite Beat Agents also left its mark on me (literally!) and now I am in the grasp of Rock Band (playing the drums on Hard is a pretty decent workout) and 1942: Joint Strike whose button mashing madness has my right thumb in a world of hurt right now, but damn, its fun. My high score is already over a million, time to shoot for two!

-shakes hands around, blows on right thumb to cool it down-

Maybe later.