I did one of those things which I had sworn that I would never do. No, not one of those really bad things, as you may be thinking. It was, however, something which compromised or moved my principles. Perhaps I should say, what I thought were my principles. For truthfully, I'm not sorry I did it.
Last year, Santa Claus brought my grandson a Wii. The Wii is used under rather strict rules. I am proud to say that we never, well, hardly ever use it as a babysitter. There may have been an occasion or two.
By and large though, we limit its use to social engagements.In other words, the Wii is to be played with a friend or family member, not as a substitute playmate. Time is also monitored, so the kid doesn't develop concentric circle cartoon eyes, a sure sign of video game hypnosis.
I have, of course, taken my turn as the partner in various games ranging from Sonic the Hedgehog to Wii Sports, which offers some fun challenges, especially the pool game. Mostly, I have done this to spend time with my grandson. Until recently.
Enter Madden 09 Pro Football. I rented the game for my adult stepson, so he could play it with his son, the above mentioned Jason. Well, sort of. I thought I ought to give it a test run, to see if the eight year old could handle it.
Jason recently — and fortuitously — traded soccer for football, so I ended up coaching in the Upward Bound flag league. Fortuitously because he discovered his inner linebacker, which he attributes to some genetic connection — “Blitzing must be in our genes, huh Dada?”
I haven't yet figured out how to tell him we have no genetic connection.
He attributes his blossoming interest in defensive strategy to the same pseudo-genetics.
So he presented, to his Nana, the proposition that playing Madden O9 Pro Football was indeed a learning tool.
All this may have been well and good, except that on the next week, a local game rental was having a 20 percent off sale on gently used games. Since we usually rent from that store when we have movie night, it wasn't too long until I noticed the sign promoting the sale.
How could I miss it? It was directly above the colorful box, offering for sale a gently used copy of Madden 08 Pro Football, for only slightly more than I had paid to rent the 09 game.
I had vowed that I would never buy a video game. Breaking my vow, it would serve me right if there were vast differences in the 08 game and the 09 version; if somehow the 08 game were vastly inferior and a real disappointment.
But the gods of helmets and shoulder pads were smiling. To my untrained eye, there is virtually no
difference in the two. I did not receive my deserved
punishment. Best of all, the two on two game, which my grandson loves most, is present as well.
So much for the rules of karma. I bought a video game in the season no less, when all my money should be spent for Christmas and have not received retribution. Of course, I bought it for the kids.
Excuse me. I have to go work on my defensive
strategy for the 11-man game. I don't believe I can stand another incident of getting beaten by an 8-year-old.
Clyde Davis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Portales and a college instructor. He can be contacted at: