Postmodern Pong

11:31 pm · category: Uncategorized

I’ve spent a lot of time at my friends’ J. and K.’s lately. They’re pretty much the only friends I have who are the same age and live nearby. They also have two children: a five-year-old girl who will start school in two weeks, and a two-year-old boy. This week J. has been painting his daughter’s room (pink and purple, of course).

Although he’s quite the handyman, J. can get a bit short-tempered when he’s interrupted. One day this week, his daughter came into her bedroom to tell him that she didn’t like the game that was on the Nintendo because it wasn’t any fun. (I don’t do video games, but it was some sort of Mario racing game.) There stood J., all sweaty and with paint dripping from the brush, covered in splotches of pink and purple, completely flabbergasted.

“It’s not any fun? What do you mean, it’s not any fun?” he asked, nearing his whining-kid threshold. “When I was your age, we didn’t even have Nintendo, much less games with cool graphics and good controllers. Do you know what we had when I was five years old? We had Pong! That’s right, the only game we had was called Pong. And do you know what Pong did? It had these two straight bars on either side of the screen, and a ball bounced back and forth that you had to hit. That was it! Two bars and a ball! And we enjoyed it, because it was all we had. So you just go back in there and play that racing game, missy, because you’ve got nothing to complain about!”

Somehow, the whole “When I was your age, I had to walk ten miles uphill in the snow both ways to school” story didn’t really manage to translate well into our 21st century, postmodern era, did it?

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