ByMatthew Jarrett, writer at
Matthew Jarrett

Gaming, eh? Yes, as the quiz concluded, superheroes are indeed my favored genre of movie film and print, with an undeniable leaning in the direction of The House Of Ideas (google it if you're that much younger than I). But gaming? Yeah, I owned a first-gen Playstation, and played the heck out of Soul Blade and Tekken, along with all the rehashed Atari games like Asteroids and Missile Command. That, however, is the length and breadth of my gaming experience, so I give you gaming as I knew it at 9 years old in 1975 on Old Smith Valley Road in Greenwood, Indiana:

Yeah, it's pretty rough stuff.
Yeah, it's pretty rough stuff.

The coarse bark bites into the calloused skin of my fingers as the branch bends under my weight. The creak of the branch reminds me to speed up my transition to the thicker crotch of the neighboring trunk and I swing my leg out to wedge my tattered Converse high top into the joint and drag myself over to the next handhold. I should've known to wear jeans, because this Chinese Elm bark is rough on my leg as I swing my lower body up and over the thick branch, digging deep into the soft flesh behind my knee. The tree's old and sturdy though, and the climb is definitely worth it.

I have a bit further to go, though, so no dilly-dallying. Stretching as far as I can, I can just get a fingerhold on the next branch, so I have a decision to make; either go the long way around or take the leap. No real contest though, but with this bark, it's gonna hurt like hell...

I feel the mistake before I hear it, but the sharp snap of an overstressed branch is like seeing the kick coming but not being able to protect your nuts. Fortunately, the tree's pretty thick up here, so I don't fall far before I catch another limb with my hand and wedge my torso into a thick bough. I can feel the blood on my cheek where the big-ass splinter got me and the deep scrape on my back where I'm squeezed into a spot big enough for about half of me. Mom's gonna be pissed; this was a new t-shirt.

Well, It WAS new!
Well, It WAS new!

Not done yet, though. How far did I fall, anyway, and where to go from here? Looking around and taking stock, I see that I'm lower in the tree, but actually closer to my target than before. OUCH! I was really in there tight, and had to sacrifice a bit more flesh to get out. One more foothold, though, and a good stretch...

"GOT IT!" I hear my sister yell from below, turning her back to me without even a thank-you-very-much to flip the frisbee back to the gang out on the street. I make my way down, with that strange, childlike combination of anxiousness and pained caution, eager as ever to catch, flip, and be denied the opportunity to play with the bigger kids whose evening recreation I just rescued.

Game play. Outside, oxygen-enriched, adrenaline-fueled, intoxicating PLAY. Yeah, I'm oldschool. Either that, or just plain old. Either way, I'm good.

This is a piece of humor writing intended to poke fun at MYSELF and my very limited experience gaming. Please don't take this as any kind of indictment of gaming or gamers. It's your thing and I respect that completely. Honestly, I do.


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