Posted at 12:05 PM on October 10, 2007
by Julie Siple
We're working on a show about why in heaven's name we all spend so much money.
That got me thinking about Second Life, the online world with millions of inhabitants. I've never played. Apparently, people pay for fancy clothes, imaginary perfume, and --uh-- body parts... which they put on their fake selves in this virtual world.
I'm not sure I get it.
Now Pac-Man, there's a video universe I can understand. A blob with a mouth that flees ghosts and eats dots. Small, yellow, unadorned. And remember Billy Mitchell? Perfect score in six hours.
Pac-Man turns 28 today; the game debuted in Japan on this date in 1979.
Wish the guy a happy birthday.
I have to confess, Pac-Man is my favorite game. Well, no, actually Miss Pac-Man.
Whenever I move to a new city I seek out the best Pac-Man consoles so I have a place to play when I need to relieve some stress. While living in Cleveland my favorite box was at a rock club called the Grog Shop. Pixles, Pabst and Powerchords? What more could you want?
Here in the Twin Cities my favorite console was in a much more discreet location: a laundromat in Dinky Town. There was never a line, the joy stick was easy to maneuver and best of all it had adjustable speed settings. I like to play on the "fast" mode cause that's how I roll. The calm of a luandromat was good for my concentration and I played some of my best games there.
Sadly, last time I drove by they were boarded up! Out of Business! My favorite Miss Pac-Man game locked up! I'm still in shock. Fortunately the CC Club on Lyndale Ave has a table top version of the game that's in good shape, but thanks to the loud music and ample supply of beer, I have much more trouble getting the best score. I wonder if Billy Mitchell has to deal with these kinds of hazards?
Since we're confessing, Pac-Man and Miss Pac-Man always gave me panic attacks.
The whole game, you're just running away from ghosts right into dead ends and infinite loop-d-loops. There's nowhere to go.
Isn't this somebody's reccuring nightmare?
And what's all the running for anyway? Dots?
So if I ever see you at the CC Club, Sanden, the Miss Pac-Man table is all yours.
I remember Pac Man well. I was never a grand champion of the munching mouth, but it was a pleasant diversion. Mindless & soothing at times.
I also play Second Life. I don't find it mindless. It is the only computer game I play. I have spent many Linden (local in world currency) on various upgrades to my avatar, at times elaborate outfits and yes some of my upgrades do include "Naughty Bits". Why do I do it? To escape the life I currently lead. I am 45 yr old plus size female office drone who can count the number the number of real dates I've been on in the last five years on 1 hand & have fingers left over. In Second Life I am a stunning (many people have told me so) red head with waist length ringlets that has a list of men & even a few women frequently requesting the chance to spend time with me dancing & even at times using those Naughty Bits. I have developed Real Life relationships, friendships & even a romance from this game.
So Pac Man, yes I remember you fondly, but at this time .... Second Life has claimed my attention, my allegence, and some might even say my heart.