I Don't Want Any More Computer or Console Games / by Erin Wade

I am an intermittent computer gamer.

When I was young my parents brought home Pong, and later an Atari 2600. I played for hours on each of these, and can remember losing incredible amounts of enjoyable time to Pitfall and Pac Man. My first computer was a Commodore 64, and I spent hours typing in code from the back of magazines so that I could play the games that resulted (or at least play until "error line 564" and its ilk showed up), and spent copious amounts of time on Jumpman and Castle Wolfenstein.

I moved away from these things during college, returning home to find my little brother's Nintendo occupying the TV in the family room. I could never find any love in my heart for anything with Mario in it, but Arkanoid was a fast favorite, and I recall spending a fair amount of my time on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) game as well.

But those were summer flings, forgotten after I returned to school, where my relationship with computers was decidedly more chaste and task oriented. Wordstar was the name of the game for me at college, churning out papers and notes with no eye towards frivolity. I didn't return to computer gaming until I was finished with my undergrad work.

An IBM PS2, passed down to me by my Dad, spurred a return, and MLW and I could be found navigating our way around and through the world of Kings Quest and its various sequels, carefully working out paper maps to keep track of where we were and what we needed to accomplish. That machine, which never made its way out of DOS, was followed by a series of laptops purchased for school and work purposes, but which nonetheless offered up gaming opportunities. This ranged from the pre-installed Solitaire and Chess options up through Spaceward Ho! and, more recently, massive time-suck games like Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo, and various iterations of Civilization.

Probably my favorite in the group of recents is Starcraft II, which I awaited with great anticipation. I've played through the game's story once, and I've played single-player melee's multiple times. But my play has dropped off since, and I realized something when I considered firing it up the other day:

I don't want to sit at my desk and play a game.

Computer games all share the feature of tying you down to a machine, and typically one that is best suited to remaining fixed on a hard, supporting surface. Yes, I am well aware that laptops can be used to play computer games, but I defy anyone to truthfully state they are comfortable playing a game on a laptop, actually situated in their lap, for any length of time.

This realization comes in the wake of multiple excellent games for the iPad (and, I am sure, with many identical or comparable items for Android tablets as well). With the existence of excellent games like the Infinity Blade series, Badland, and Hot Pursuit, among others, I find it hard to even consider tying myself down to a desk or table. Why would I do that when I can comfortably play on the couch? Or, weather permitting, in a lawn chair or hammock?