Button Mashing

I’m a huge fan of video games. When I was 8 years old, I was the first kid in my class to own a Nintendo. My younger brother and I would take turns playing Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt until our fingers hurt and our eyes bled. This marked the first, last, and only time in history that I was ever considered “cool.” Soon afterwards, a couple other kids got an NES, so I went back into my cocoon of dorkdom.

Over the years, I grew up with different video games, mostly of the sports genre. My favorite Madden was 1995 because that was the year that players’ names were included for the first time. I was no longer controlling Dolphins Linebacker #51. I was controlling Bryan Cox, and it was awesome. Most recently, I’ve been playing a ton of FIFA as I digitally turn Swansea City into a world power.

I no longer pass 16 hours straight playing video games, but now that I’m in my 30s, they help me relax and settle down at the end of the day. After putting the kids to bed, I’ll throw a couple pillows on the floor, fire up the PlayStation, and sit there for 45 minutes or so unwinding from my day.

The kids seem to enjoy them too, so every once in awhile, I’ll plug the latest Super Mario Brothers game into the Wii and let them go to town. The best, however, is that I have reluctantly drug my wife into the video game world as well.

Over that past few years, a few games have come along that she has really enjoyed. A few that come to mind are Epic Mickey, Kingdom Hearts, and Little Big Planet. They are fun and addictive storyline style games that she gets absorbed in for awhile. There’s one thing that most of her games have in common: they require jumping.

For most people, this probably isn’t much of an issue. If you grew up with video games, you probably have the jumping part down. If you started a little later in life, however, this basic move may not actually seem so basic. I think that my wife also projects her real-life fear of edges onto the character on the screen. Whatever the reason is, jumping becomes a hilarious experience for everyone in the room.

She employs what I like to call “button mashing.” She’ll be smoothly transitioning through the level until she comes to an obstacle that needs to be jumped over. She will then begin pushing every single button on the controller while also lifting her controller towards the ceiling in the hopes that if the signal comes from higher up, Mickey will respond in that direction. Inevitably, Mickey fails to takeoff and falls into the ink or her sack person lands in the middle of the fire. While it’s fairly frustrating for her, it’s tickles me.

Whenever this happens, she’ll see me looking at her and automatically say, “shut up.” This just puts a bigger smile on my face. I find it quite entertaining that our 3 year old son has better skills that my wife. Maybe, they can play in 2 person mode, so he can help her complete the level.

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