Last week I wrote a story about the new E-Sports program at Greenwood High School. I will admit when I first heard that the school was starting such a program I scoffed, just for a moment, and then I realized that this is the exact sort of thing I might have gotten excited about when I was in school.
I tried desperately to get involved in a cool sport when I was younger and by that I mean football, basketball or baseball. But I was terrible at all of them. I tried, as most boys in my class did, to play football. I was on the team for two years and the closest I got to having my name spoken over the loudspeaker was when Dustin Stone made a tackle and they mistakenly announced my name as I stood on the sideline chewing on my mouth guard.
The one that really breaks my heart is baseball, because I loved it so much. I knew all there was to know about it, collected the cards and even studied the history of the game. But, again I was the worst player on every team I ever played for. I had an awkward stance and was overcome with anxiety anytime a ball was hit to me in deep left field.
I was pretty good at video games though. I can still remember getting my Atari 2600, which brought me hours and hours of enjoyment. The hardest I ever laughed was playing games with friends late into the night. The Atari had a joystick and one button, so it was not hard to be at least as good as everyone else I suppose.
I got my Nintendo Entertainment System the day the Berlin Wall came down and I played Super Mario Brothers until I heard the music in my sleep, which was maddening. I say I was good at video games but, now that I think about it I did not beat Legend of Zelda until I was 29 years old. I had promised myself that I would do so before I turned 30. It was sad really. I printed out maps studied strategy and finally accomplished one of my life’s ambitions.
I had a Nintendo 64 in the 90’s on which I only played Goldeneye, a Playstation one on which I only played Worms Armageddon, a Playstation two that I never really got into, a Wii that got old after a month and now video games are too complicated for me.
I just counted the buttons on a current Playstation controller and there are 10. I play with my son Eric every so often and mocks my inability to keep up with him. Every so often I break out my NES or Atari and beat him without mercy. Maybe I will get back into games when virtual reality becomes more prevalent but probably not.