From the Console’s Perspective: The Halcyon Days of Youth

Ever wondered what life might look like from the perspective of a video game console? No? Uh…oh. Is it weird that I have? Don’t answer that. Instead, blissfully follow me in this three-part series where I imagine how the trappings for humanity might appear to a game console. Could be any game console, maybe that game console you’re staring at right now. Yep, that very one.

First up, childhood and adolescence.

Image by Flickr user Joe Shlabotnik

Image by Flickr user Joe Shlabotnik

Man, am I glad that kid has school! Let me tell you, if it wasn’t for those eight to twelve hours between getting up and dinner time, I’d be an overheated wreck! I mean, it’s bad enough on the weekends, y’know? Once the afternoon hits, it totally game on! I can hardly complain…at least I’m getting used. I’ve got a little bit of competition from the new computer, but it doesn’t have anywhere near the collection of games I have. Plus — wait…I hear them…

Footsteps and young voices amble closer…

Oh ho! Hey kids! Three kids, that’s great! What’ll it be today? A fighting game maybe? Or how about a rac…ah — nope. We’re going with a platformer. (Looks like two of the kids are going to help the third through a difficult level.) That’s cool. Totally cool. Been stuck on that level for awhile, I know. Based on the hours I’ve seen you with this game, you’ve given it your best. You’re bound get some good assistance here.  You’ve got a trusty machine in me, so I’m going to get to working while you do work yourself.  Good luck!

An hour later…

You beat it — you beat the game?! That’s awesome! Yeah yeah, I caught some of the controller-passing, but c’mon…not only did you get past that hard level, but you, own your own and with your siblings cheering you on, totally beat that final boss. What’s next? I see a couple really promising games over there, maybe you’ll try something…oh wait…I see it…it’s that fighting game! Aw man, that’s sweet, but you better keep it down because it’s getting late, or so my internal clock says, and tomorrow is a school day, right? If you make a ruckus, the folks are going to send you all straight to bed.

Another couple hours pass…

Yeah, I hear ’em too, your parents. Sounds like it’s time for bed. Still that was SO awesome! You guys had a really great time. And I promise to keep quiet about that curse word you accidentally dropped when you got beat that one time, but try to keep it clean, okay? Your parents will have a total fit if they actually catch you saying it. And they’re probably going to blame me. Me and the games. And remember the last time you and your brother and sister were grounded from playing? I sat here for a whole week bored out of my mind! Shoot, the stupid VCR player go so much action, I’m still being razzed about it! Just you get to bed now. The weekend is only a day away and I need to rest up.

The room goes dark…

Ahhhh, that’s more like it. Time to cool down.

A couple weeks ago, the kids each got new games. I’m happy enough to see them, and their friends, for a couple hours each day during the week, but once the weekend rolls round, as I said before, it’s game on, and I’m on.  I know it’s not for the entire forty-eight hours of the weekend, but boy, does it feel like it! And with three kids in the house, the battles over who gets to play become quite fierce. You should see them arguing! Usually one of the parents has to be the mediator, but sometimes, the fighting gets bad enough that the parents simply send everyone outdoors for awhile. When it’s nice out, fine; but on rainy days…well…somebody usually ends up on the computer, the poor sucker.  Though, on some days, everyone gets along well enough that either they take turns playing or they find something to play together. And I like that, seeing everyone gathered around, having fun for hours on end.

However, there are a couple things that are even better. One is when the parents come to their senses and join in the fun. It’s a rare thing to see, I’ll tell you, and it warms my circuits to see the older folks gaming with the kids. Maybe they’re doing it to humor them, but I think the parents like it. In fact, I know they do because *whispers* sometimes, late at night, they play too! I’m serious! But don’t you dare tell the kids. As far as they’re concerned, I’m for them, and only them. Yeah, they know that if it wasn’t for their parents they probably would have games, but stuff like that doesn’t matter to kids. They just want to play, and they would all day every day if they could! I’m just glad to see them for several hours every week, playing the games that make them happy. If it wasn’t for them, I’d just be a big, electronic paperweight.

Makes me wonder, though, with all the time the kids spend hanging out with me, when do they do their homework?


  1. duckofindeed says:

    Some of my poor consoles are in the closet. The XBox especially complains of neglect, especially when I love it least. And I think they’re all jealous that I show favoritism to the PS2.


    1. cary says:

      Several of our consoles are also packed away. (Though we do keep out our favorites in order to prevent any squabbles.) I’m not sure the older consoles will see much daylight because, as I recently discovered when trying to hook up the Gamecube, our new-fangled, modern TVs don’t have the right inputs! Oh, technology.


  2. cary says:

    Reblogged this on Recollections of Play and commented:

    Recently, most of my thoughts concerning games have revolved around my changing relationship with them. As I sped past one of my game consoles in a hurry to get to work one morning, I started to ponder what that evolution might look like from another perspective. From the console’s perspective. With that notion in mind and a brief team-up with the creative writing bug, I formulated this three-part series for United We Game in which I speculated upon a life lived from the point of view of a video game console. Whether or not I managed well with the creative part remains to be judged, but it was nicely cathartic putting these bottled up thoughts and emotions in writing. Here’s the first entry in the series looking back upon the carefree and careless days of gaming during childhood, when time was plentiful and so were the games.

    For the other entries in the series, click here:
    From the Console’s Perspective: The College Years, and Then Some
    From the Console’s Perspective: The Onset of Middle Age


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