My son Stef has been urging me to get into a new line of work -- making videos for YouTube. He wants to work with me on a new YouTube show called Moms Playing Video Games.
He is convinced we'll make a fortune.
Apparently, you just has to shoot yourself playing, say, Paper Mario Sticker Party, and post segments on YouTube. The more likes and views you get determines advertising, similar to how this blog works.
I remain unconvinced. So far, the ads on Blogger have netted me a cool $135 over a year and a half. It's not even enough to pay one month's Internet bill, so I doubt Moms Playing Video Games will do much better.
Besides, I have a couple of video game injuries. Last night, I woke up with a wicked itchy trigger finger, obviously the result of hours spent playing the Nintendo DS which, for my aged friends, is a portable video game player. In 3D.
The damned thing is so addictive.
After this weekend, I'm packing Mario and Luigi away for the spring. The YouTube site will have to wait for the fall as well.
But it's certainly a good past time for a person waiting for spring, or to die, whichever comes first.
Stef comes over about once every two weeks for dinner, a movie and a sleep. He begins the evening chatting incessantly about his favorite games -- he's been a gamer since he was three -- and he scarfs down one of Scott's delish meals. Minutes into the movie, he's prone on the couch snoring like one imagines a little lephrecaun would snore. Then he wakes up at about nine, just in time to head out to meet his girlfriend to continue his activities.
All of my children are unique, wonderful beings, but Stef takes the cake. He's a server at Kelsey's and he's good at his job. He makes a small mint from all the ladies who come to mother him. He told me last night about his technique to get kids to drink milk. They all want pop, of course, but he tells them that the milk served at Kelsey's has been rated on three websites as the best in the capital, extracted from premium cows that are unlike any in the country. Kids fall for this although he admits one kid last week told him she couldn't tell the difference between Kelsey's milk and the regular. He shrugged.
Stef has a small apartment down the road from us. He has two cats, Kobe and the newly acquired Mika and a $200 cat house they are currently destroying. His living room is a video game mecca with games stacked to the rafters.
He works long hours so he can't wait to spend his off time killing enemies and living in fantasyland, though now that he has a girlfriend, he's getting better about going out and having fun like a real person.
Video games saved his life as a child, I believe. When things were going south on the parental front and when I was a shadow of myself, Stef would retire to his boycave and get 'er done. Some might say he was escaping. I say he was surviving. It's how boys roll these days, for good or for ill.
Today, he's a happy, well adjusted 26-year-old because of it.
And a fairly wealthy one at that, who is careful with his money and has a perfect credit score.
Suze Orman would be proud.
People are always harping on the boys who play video, but I think they should go fuck themselves.
Everybody needs a past time, you know? Some guys go out for beers while others play hockey. Some do woodworking. Some shoot heroin and rob the Quickie.
There are worse past times.
For a lot of guys, video games are pure salvation, a safe haven in this crazy world.
Only people who play video realize this.
A couple of years ago, Stef let me in on his passion. He bought me a video game called Link, a fantasy game in which a little kid goes out to save a princess and the world.
Learning Link was hard. RPGs -- role playing games -- require dexterity, skill and a keen mind. I am convinced these little gems will help me stave off dementia, although the carpal tunnel can be a problem.
Make fun of video games all you want, grownups.
There's no credit counselling in video games. There's no do-over.
If you don't solve your problems you die.
There's something kind of wonderful about that.
Haters! Don't knock it til you've tried it.