Daily Archives: December 15, 2006

Just How Terrifyingly Tuned I Am to the Early 80s

I’m listening to one of my online radio stations, whose app I minimized and volume I turned down to talk to my wife on the phone. When I hung up I turned up the speaker volume I heard two bars of a song I’d never heard before and instantly thought “Damn, that’s the Three O’Clock.” Who I hadn’t heard in, oh, twenty years. Maximized the radio program: “With Cantaloupe Girlfriend,” by the Three O’Clock.

Two bars, man. I’m scared. My brain should be filled with things other than the basic tonal template of The Three O’Clock, you know?

So that you may be afflicted with the same horrifying condition, the video from the one song of the Three O’Clock most people who survived the 80s have even the slightest memory of: “Jet Fighter.”

Yes, it’s damn catchy, in that distinctive and oh-so-odd early 80s way.

That’s two early 80s videos in two days, I know. I apologize for that.

Bleep. Bloop. Zap.

Hey, I’m being interviewed again, and this time it doesn’t involve something relating to science fiction: I’m part of an article on parents who play video games, over at 1up.com, along with Mike Krahulik (Gabe of Penny Arcade, and the totally excellent cover artist for Agent to the Stars) and Andrew Bub, who writes the GamerDad.com site. I have to say we all sound amazingly sensible, in that we recommend paying attention to what your kids play, use the video games as an opportunity to play with your kid, and integrate gaming into one’s life, rather than trying to have a life around one’s gaming. Crazy!

I’m particularly pleased that the author of the article managed to get a quote in from me about my most fearsome gaming bugaboo, which is games that force me to play up to a particular save point, rather than letting me save when and where I want in a game. If there are any video game designers out there, let me be very specific about this: I do not buy games that don’t let me save where I want. And the reason for this is, I am a grown human being and have a life outside of mashing buttons. Sometimes I have only a few minutes to play a game; sometimes I need to stop playing a game to do something else. When you make a game that doesn’t let me save when and where I want, you’re making the argument that playing the game is more important than anything else I need to do with my life. You’re going to lose that argument, friend. Every. Single. Time. At this point in time, there’s absolutely no technological reason that games can’t be saved at any point, whether they’re on the computer or a console. Save points are a design issue, and they are bad design. Really, this is dealbreaker point for me.

Anyway, it’s a good article. Check it out.