It's that time of year. Time when I see the Fed Ex delivery man more than I see my imaginary girlfriend. Time when I am literally buried beneath a gamevalanche--that's an avalanche of games, people--and the rescue team won't be deployed until December at the earliest. Time when my wrists are sore, my thumbs ache, and my right eye twitches involuntarily--it's doing it now, even as I type this--because I have stared at my television for a thoroughly unhealthy number of hours in a row.
Fact: It is not uncommon for me to require an eye exam each January because of all the high-definition damage I do to my retinas in October and November.
Some numbers: I have spent at least 40 of the last 48 hours gaming. Here's a fly-by of what I've seen: Fable 3, Vanquish, the new God Of War on the PSP, Rock Band 3, Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, Divergent Shift and X-Scape on the DS, Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, Costume Quest, Def Jam Rap Star, random iPhone games like Naughty Bear and Angry Birds Halloween, and, inexplicably, just because I had a strange hankering for it, a few rounds of Star Fox 64 on the Virtual Console. While you've been eating, sleeping, or playing with your kids or pets, while you've been talking to your Uncle Bill on the phone--hi, Uncle Bill--or re-reading a Nicholas Sparks novel, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, I have been gaming.
I now pronounce you Man and Game. You may kiss the Game.
My couch has retained a lawyer in the name of taking out a restraining order against me. Sample of the courtroom proceedings in Jones Vs. Couch: "Mr. Jones, my client claims that you routinely farted into him, with the number of farts often exceeding 20 farts per day. Do you deny this, Mr. Jones? And remember, you are under oath."
Me: [I shoot a how-could-you-betray-me look across the courtroom at Couch.]
That photo up above? That's a shot of the coffee table in my living room. Whenever I run out of square footage on the table, my only option is to go vertical. So what rises up before me is a kind of relief map of the holiday gaming season. It literally becomes a mountain range of discs and game boxes, instruction booklets and peripherals. Like strata in a geological dig, good games tend to stay near the top of the mountains (Vanquish, Dead Rising 2, Kirby's Epic Yarn) while the bad games (Medal Of Honor, The Force Unleashed 2) sink to the bottom, never to be seen again until I get the chance to clean up this godforsaken mess at the end of the year.
It's no wonder that my girlfriend is "imaginary." (Which is only slightly less terrible than "inflatable.")
Vic and I have an acronym that we use during this season. It's A.B.G.: Always Be Gaming. No matter where we are, no matter what we're doing, this time of year it's essential that we constantly game. A.B.G. means making sure that your portables--DS, PSP, iPhone, iPad--are charged and ready to go if you're going to be away from your consoles for a few hours. A.B.G. means starting a download via PSN before getting into the shower, so the download will be completed by the time you've finished washing. It means waking up in the morning and turning on the 360 before you've had your coffee, while it's still dark outside--these days the sun doesn't come up in Vancouver until 7:30 or so--just to squeeze in a few more levels, another boss, another power-up, or more experience points.
Always Be Gaming.
I can't believe this is my fucking life. Man!
See what happens when you stay in school, don't do drugs (well, except for that one time) (and that one other time), and eat your vegetables, kids? You get to have an insane job.
Cue the "Don't Stop Believing" song.
You know the one.