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Something Smells Gamey: Puzzle Games

Everybody loves puzzles, right? Nothing better than a brain bender to fill the time, right? I'm not so sure about that.

I mean, I feel RIGHT NOW like life is a big puzzle. It's been almost a week since I first heard of the Leighton Meester sex tape, and I've seen naught but a few screens. How desperately puzzling!

This feeling of loss, coupled with inadequacy at the thought of my body next to hers, well reflects how I feel playing most puzzle games - of which I am herein defining as Tetris, Dr. Mario, Puzzle League, etc. You know, the blocky stuff. I've been stocking up on these types of games ever since I discovered the Goodwill electronics section, as well as another revamped local store I will not name for fear that others will sneak in and purchase goods that are rightfully mine. I've never been that into puzzle games, but how can one rationalize not spending a couple of dollars on a classic like Dr. Mario? It's worth it just for the admiration of your friends, and you can always eat another day.

My problem, summarized, is that these games always end up making me feel dumb. This is because, in terms of puzzle games, I am. I never think ahead to future turns, leaving me architecture riddled with flaws and dissimilarly-colored neighbors. Maybe I'm just a good person and my moral compass dissuades me from ghettoizing individuals based on their shape and hue. Or maybe I just live in the moment too damn much.

Sure, I have fun for a few minutes despite my incompetence, but usually I need a more tangible goal than these games offer. Getting a high score could be that achievement, and modern games like Hexic incorporate the competitiveness of this element excellently online. But few and far between are battery saves on these old carts. Writing down your score on a piece of paper and taping it to the basement wall was the closest you could get...

Hold on. I actually love that. Nothing overwhelms me with nostalgia more than my basement on a musty summer day, when I can smell the house of my most game-inclined childhood friend. I miss the simplicity of that world where new news only existed once a month, with the arrival of Nintendo Power, and outside of that it was just me and my friends competing against the computer and each other. In that world, sometimes, I really could be the best. Now the internet reveals to me immediately how much I suck at everything.

Hold on again, though. In my rambling, I've forgotten that I never actually built these great memories with puzzle games, so I can still legitimately decry their transient scoring systems and prefer a more driven alternative.

Hold on one more time. Maybe memories I've never built are the ones I should most cherish? Perhaps true appreciation can only come from those experiences I have not had? Is this true, Leighton? Are your most intimate memories soon to be mine to take? Or must I continue to rotate the blocks of my own life, until something appropriately phallic takes form?


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  1. Blogger chris | 9:54 AM |  

    Hahahaha sometimes the simplest uses of MS Paint are the most effective.

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