Note: I posted this a loooong time ago, when no one really knew who I was. No one really saw it and since we're on this "getting to know you" binge, I thought I'd repost it for the new Destructoid folks. I hope you all don't think I'm a whore.
I was being dropped off at church camp. Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp actually, and I was clutching the floor of the family astrovan for my fucking life. I didn't want to live in a cabin of total strangers. They would probably make fun of me. They would call me four-eyes and ridicule my Batman t-shirts. Those weren't cool in fifth grade anymore! And I knew it too! I was not ready to spend a week with these potentially evil kids...no way. Yet after approximately thirty minutes of balling my tubby eyes out I suddenly felt better. Why? Because my mother had bribed me. She bribed me with a Gameboy Color accompanied by a copy of Pokemon Blue. Okay mom, you got me, I'll go naked for a week here if you want me to. Anything for a Gameboy.
Chapter 1: Behind Enemy Lines/Pokemon and Mario Among Other Things
I played that Gameboy religiously...and by that I do not mean night and day, I mean everyday at the exact same time for the exact same amount of time at the exact same place. That place was my locked bedroom. I did this because I had to be careful. Gameboys were not appreciated by the entirety of my household. It was a dangerous practice. So dangerous I had to pretend to love fishing and killing things with projectiles. My father said it was in my blood. His father had taught him such things, and the tradition was not to end with me as far as he was concerned. And for me to continue this tradition of being a flat out redneck, video games were not allowed to be in my possession.
As a school counselor my father had seen the worst of the worst. Kids living daily with drug abuse, physical abuse, or devastating mental or physical handicaps. All of them lived lives of shit...but many of them did have one thing in common. They liked video games. Jumping to conclusions, my father took this as a sign. He thought it was part of the reason they were there. These crazy simulations were making this kids unstable. Being old fashioned he made up his mind very quick and decided that these horrible pieces of "god damn technology" would never enter the hands of his children. After playing games many times at my buddy Dean's place, I was fucking devastated...but not all hope was lost.
I eventually did get that Gameboy, but played in secret as I mentioned before. It didn't bother me, leveling Pokemon for endless hours or playing every Mario game I possibly could was the only way I could escape the suffocation. I played Gameboys in secret for years, probably from the age of 12 to the age of 15. Over those years I upgraded several times, acquiring a Gameboy Advance SP and Nintendo DS along the way. It was wonderful! I had so many options and so many games to play...but it never seemed like enough.
I wanted it all...I wanted...a CONSOLE
Chapter 2: Trench Warfare/Gamecube/Let's Lock the Doors and Play Resident Evil Garrick
Despite all the anti-console propaganda in my house, there was still one sane parent. My mother never really cared about my video game playing ambitions and was my only way to get them, but she demanded I keep them a secret from my dad. It made things difficult, but I knew it had to be done.
After years of the Gameboy/DS I confessed my desire for a console to my mother. She did not like the idea. It was risky and I could very likely get caught. I told her my plan and even gave her a crude layout of how I would set it all up and keep it concealed.
1. Plug in console and conceal under bed. (Access was difficult, but I never switched up games too much
2. Wireless controllers (The Gamecube was the only system at the time that had these available and therefore gave me no choice...this was not a bad thing as I do confess that I was a Nintendo fanboy until the age of 16
3. Put Grandma's shitty, old tv at the foot of my bed (I had cable in my room so the tv was not very suspicious and it was all I could find. You had to hit it very hard in order for the picture to sync, but despite this the picture was always incredibly dark.
4. Share with my little brother (god fucking damnit
This plan was pretty impressive to my mother and she obliged, but very hesitantly.
It was the end of summer and I had mowed every lawn from eeevvvery fucking lady at church. To say the least, I was spent. All that time sweating, cursing under my breath, and getting yelled at by my impatient dad to go slower over the thicker grass had come to an end and I was not going to go unrewarded.
My mother was on a routine trip to Butte, where I purchased my beautiful and shiny platinum Gamecube from the local Sam Goody. Along with that came a copy of Super Smash Bros. Melee. I was delighted beyond any measure. Upon arriving home I ripped apart the box and set it all up as I described earlier.
It was pretty
I played SSBM until my eyes bled and my dad never had any idea what was really going on. He assumed that all the time I spent locking in my room yelling was for masturbation. I was
a horny preteen after all.
Eventually I purchased and played through almost everything worth playing through on the Gamecube. I was satisfied, but not happy. The private and secret way I had been playing had kept gaming from being a social experience. The closest thing it actually ever got to social was when I had my friends over to play Resident Evil 0........it was hard. One of us always had guard duty to watch for my dad while the other two got to actually play the game. Now, I wasn't going to lock myself in a room with all my friends just to play the game, oh no. I didn't care if it was harmless fun, it would've looked veeeeeerrry weird and worrisome to any father. I couldn't go on like this much longer. Gaming was social and by god I would make it so! Something had to change...and soon.
I had to come out to my father.
I could have worded that better.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of My Much Too Retro Father coming whenever the fuck I feel like writing it.! Huzzah!!!