Ramblings from the Desert

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~Benjamin Franklin

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Location: New Mexico

Author of the urban fantasy novel, The Music of Chaos, and the paranormal romance, The Canvas Thief.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Safety Schmafety

After 10 o'clock, all the TV phone sex adverts come out to play.

At 11:55, the husband and I switch on the television to watch the big glittery ball do its thing in Times Square. The station cuts away for a few commercials. In one, a pretty brunette, sleek and shiny as a seal, flashes brilliant white teeth at the screen and says, "Before I call 1-900-Hot-Babes, I turn down the lights."

"Yeah," I say. "That's because she's really Jabba the Hutt's 300-pound little sister."

The J-man and I only watched a few minutes of television last night. Instead, we rang in the New Year with a new game for X-Box--"Gauntlet." The game is really a reprisal of the old arcade game. I was horrible at it then; I'm awful now.

The truth is, I'm a clumsy and lazy gamer. I play for the pure pleasure of killing things and shy away from anything with puzzles. Confounding matters is the fact that I'm extremely competitive and a sore loser. For the sake of our marriage, J-man and I have to play in "cooperative" mode. Otherwise, he'd always win, and I'd get the case of PMS that ate Chicago.

Regarding clumsy: When playing Halo, I often march the Master Chief off cliffs. It usually takes several tries to get up stairs, since with me at the helm, Master Chief trips and tumbles back down again. The enemy often dies laughing.

In Star Wars Battlefront, I take friendly fire to new extremes. My character throws a grenade. It bounces off a nearby wall and lands back at his feet. KAPOW! "Bob has killed himself," announces the game consol. (*I always name my characters "Bob.")

In Gauntlet, I managed to get my big burly warrior killed in the first thirty seconds of game play when I tromped him over a flaming grate. He staggered across the screen, trailing a plume of orange flames.

"Pretty," I said.

"Blue Warrior has died," said the announcer voice with a note of scorn. Blue Warrior gurgled, crumpled and fell.

Which illustrates a key issue with game design. Not OSHA approved. Deep chasms and tricky staircases without a safety railing in sight. Spikes and flames that shoot out of grates for no apparent reason, again with no appropriate signage or barricades. What kind of message are we sending "The Chiiiiildren" about safety? [wink]

Today, J-man and I will be violating all sorts of OSHA regs. Barring any complications, we will ring in the New Year with a new dishwasher. Expect heavy objects dropped on toes not protected by steel toes and incorrect lifting of heavy objects.

Hope all had a great New Year's Eve.



Graphics and Content Copyright © Patricia Kirby 2005