Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The One Where Visions of Koopa Troopas Danced in My Head #slice2014

Every Tuesday, I participate in the Slice of Life challenge at Two Writing Teachers. If you want to participate, you can link up at their Slice of Life Story Post on Tuesdays or you can just head on over there to check out other people's stories. For more information on what a Slice of Life post is about, you can go here

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He stands on the couch, a controller in each hand. His tongue sticks out the side of his mouth and his hips wiggle back and forth. I watch him wave and jerk his hands all over the place. Peanut is having so much fun playing Disney Infinity. It's adorable to watch him and see looks of concentration, exhilaration, and pure joy cross his face. 

I remember when my parents first bought us Nintendo. We were so excited for that 8-bit Nintendo and loved to play as much as they would let us. My neighbor and I would and play Mario together. He was also the kind of kid who threw his whole body into the game. I dodged a few wild moves as he tried to jump over caverns or squash those little Koopa Troopas. And we could play for hours, too. 

My kids didn't get Disney Infinity for Christmas but two of their cousins got it and they were in love. Me, not so much. This whole Disney Infinity business is not like the simple Mario games I played when I was young. I'm still trying to figure out the whole point of Disney Infinity. I loved the games where you were thrown into a world and given a mission - either it was to get to the end and later to complete missions to get stars. I miss those stars. Disney Infinity is a totally different kind of game.

I've loved Nintendo since I was little. After the 8-bit, we had Super NES and then Nintendo 64. Gamecube came out when I was in college, but I would play when I came home for breaks. And when Nintendo Wii came out - even though we were newlyweds and didn't have any kids yet - we bought the Wii.

When it comes to video games, things have definitely changed over the years. Part of me wants to be cranky over this Disney Infinity business because I don't get the point of it...not to mention it seems they've figured out a way to get people to spend even crazier amounts of money than before. (You can't just buy the game, now you have to buy all the figurines and power discs to get further into the game.) And I desperately wish he was playing in the snow or cuddled up reading books instead of all the craziness that comes with video games.

But part of me also sees how happy Peanut is. He's absolutely loving it. He plays with me or his dad and it's fun to talk to him about where to go next or what to try next. I can see the little wheels and gears moving around in his head as he makes decisions and I know he's at least thinking things through and creatively trying to problem solve. Not to mention he's so proud of himself when he accomplishes something. 

For me it's definitely been a realization of how things change but how they also stay the same. Games have evolved over time but they still give families the opportunity to spend time together. They still allow us to think, experience new ups and downs, celebrate our triumphs and deal with our defeats. I never expected to have Disney Infinity in our house but knowing that my kids are happy and that we are able to all join in on the fun makes it worth it.

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