Black Friday violence erupted across the United Kingdom as Walmart-owned Asda stores promised huge savings on electronic goods and then limited purchases to one per family. This was not the only reason for the clashes between shoppers and staff at the retail outlets. Asda was offering up to 70 percent off on selected items and when the stores’ doors opened at 8 a.m. excited consumers stripped some shelves bare in two to three minutes.
Like many other American “traditions” Black Friday has come to the United Kingdom and the PS4 Launch started at midnight in Game stores across the country coinciding with the “new” marketing tradition. While many publications in the UK have questioned the wisdom of English retailers aping American stores and their “official” Christmas shopping period, gamers came out in force Thursday night to line up for the Sony next gen console launch.
I can never understand this prejudice against video games. Normally rational adults spend more time denigrating and vilifying video games. Blaming them for everything from juvenile crime to brainwashing. So over thirty is too old to play video games? What about board games? Card games? The common thread in all these games is the word game. I know geriatrics that love playing games that range from Monopoly to Sorry.
I’m fifty-three years old. I’ll refrain from using that sickening phrase “I’m fifty-three years young.” This is always stated with a kind of simper – I have to massively control the urge to simultaneously gag and strangle any idiot who uses that phrase. Anyway, back to the point. At fifty-three, you might very well say that I should have more on my mind than playing video games. In most cases I’m sure you’d be right. In my case, no.
I also happen to think that more men over thirty are playing video games than Donny or The Today Show think. That’s because video games, which started their infancy as Arcade games, have been around for quite a while now. Space invaders was available to play when I was just twenty. I remember it well. Just a quarter a pop and you could play this exciting and frustrating game.
I was twenty-one when my first boss in the USAF took me to his house to see his new Atari machine. You could hook it up to your telly and fly planes and shoot each other. This kept us entertained for months. You could shoot each other with other vehicles, but, none of those were as much fun as the planes.
I then got off the “games train” for a few years. I rediscovered the train years later via a younger friend I worked with. He said, “Let’s go to the bowling alley. I want to show you something.” That something was Street Fighter. Once again I was hooked. Then I discovered Mario Bros, then Donkey Kong, well you get the idea. Once again I fell off the train.
Then we got our daughter a PS1 for Christmas and I met Laura Croft. I was in love! This gal was great! She could shoot in mid-air! WOW! Plus, this gal had a story to go along with all this game play. This was the last time I got on the train and I’ve not gotten off. I don’t intend to either.
I can honestly say that until arthritis makes using the controllers too difficult – although…Hey, with the Kinect and the PS move, or even *shudder* the Nintendo Wii, that can be gotten around. I suppose that when I get really old and my mental facilities slow way down, I will have to stop. But until then, it’s GAME ON!