So this is what it feels like to be a geek.
My youngest son has been asking to get a particular on-line super hero game for some time. Since it’s cost is somewhat prohibitive (not only do you have to buy the game, there’s a monthly cost for the on-line service) we have never given in to his wishes. Until now. That’s because I found out that you can get a free two week trial to play the game, and since free is my favorite word I proceed to sign up.
All my sons acquired their love for super heroes from me. I read comics like crazy when I was a kid. My brothers and I would have had a bonanza of comics had we been collectors of such things. But I, apparently sometime early in my youth, made some sort of religious vow to never collect anything of value, including money. Even so, I still like the hero vs villain conflict, so I set about to create my very own super hero.
The game gets off to a promising start, because I can really create some cool looking characters with this software. This is important, because I have trouble drawing a conclusion, let alone something artistic. With this game however, I can make a character that looks like it leaps right off the pages of the latest Marvel or DC comic book. Until I have to give him a name.
Turns out there is some stupid regulation asserting that you can’t use any name that has already been used before in the game. The trouble is, after several years of who knows how many thousands of geeks having played the game, all the good names appear to be taken. Even most of the bad ones. I wrack my mind for hours, until, remembering this was a temporary free trial, I finally come up with two names that nobody has thought of yet; The Giant Bubble Gum Blower and Captain Banana Pants. Both have somewhat vague sexual images (especially if you’re a big giant piece of bubble gum) but I think Captain Banana Pants might wow all those super hero chicks in the tight costumes. I’m going with him.
It’s now time to take my hero into action. I have to admit, as I first take to the virtual streets as Captain Banana Pants I feel just like I did when I was a kid, running around with a towel tucked into the back of my shirt, pretending to be Batman, or Superman or Liberace. The feeling doesn’t last long however.
Apparently, my hero’s super power is the ability to walk into walls. It is VERY hard to control him. There are other super-powered characters flying and running all over the place, I assume their creators are geeks who have been born with a different kind of joystick in their hands. My guy just runs straight into the nearest wall, his super-powered legs churning with all their might, apparently trying to burrow his way to the other side.
He also seems to possess the secondary ability to get beat up by just about everybody in sight. I’m beginning to wonder if the name Big Stupid Namby Pamby Man has been taken. When your character gets defeated he or she is sent to the local on-line hospital for repairs. Fortunately for me they seem to operate with France’s health insurance system, because my character is spending a lot of time there.
The most embarrassing thing just happened. Another player’s hero just came up to me and talked to me via text messaging. I know I’m in the Land of Lost Boys because it’s all in text code. I’m having WAY too much trouble staying away from the closest wall to try and figure out the messaging system of this game, so I just ignore him. Apparently, tired of waiting for my heroic response and thinking I must be Captain Mime, he takes off, figuring that either this hero or his creator isn’t packing a full punch. Right on both counts.
I’ve finally decided this game isn’t for me. Dejectedly, I click the quit button and wait for my character to sign out. How demoralizing.
But wait. Hey, somebody has just asked me to be on their team! Somebody actually wants me to play. This is great! Where’s my cape? I gotta go, up, up and awayyyyy ….OOF!