Friday, October 18, 2013

"Bill's Third Blog" [originally published November 21, 2006]

Friday saw the release of the PlayStation 3 video game system, demand for which was so great that violence erupted at retail outlets across the country.  All this excitement is foreign to me.  I don't play many video games, and when I do, I prefer games of the archaic arcade style.  Modern video games are too complicated and time-consuming.  With arcade-style games, I can spend a half-hour or so blowing up alien spaceships for relaxation, then forget the whole thing for the next two weeks.  Modern video games might be good if I had nothing—absolutely nothing—else to do, and I could play for ten hours straight, but I do have something else to do, which is to write a blog entry about how I have something else to do.

The kingdom of the Eighties video arcade was ruled by the Pac-Man dynasty.  First there was the ground-breaking Pac-Man.  Then there came the bold follow-up, Ms. Pac-Man, which was exactly the same game, except that Ms. Pac-Man had a red bow on top of her head.  Well, that's not quite true—in Ms. Pac-Man, the fourth ghost was named Sue instead of Clyde.  ("Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Sue" does sound like a good name for a law firm.)  And there may have been other differences as well, differences in things that I don't understand, things with names like the "graphic interface".  Further, weirder Pac-Man variants appeared later, but I lost track of them as the dynasty went into decline.

And where is Pac-Man now?  I would guess that Pac-Man has retired to Florida, where he engages in many of the same recreational activities that other senior citizens there enjoy.  But he has to stay off the golf course, because every time that he sees the ball, he tries to eat it.

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