About Me

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Hi, I'm Darryll and I live in Pullman, Washington with my wife and two kids. I'm a licensed Architect and am employed as a Project Manager at Washington State University. In addition, I have my own business doing residential designs in the greater Palouse area. I am a self-taught pianist, song-writer and singer and am involved in the music department at my local church.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

What's Your '70s Addiction?

So - I haven't had many addictions in  my life...

Diet Pepsi - I could easily drink a 6-pack a day. (I've actually sworn off the stuff - in fact I haven't had any pop in 18 months!)
TV - I watch too much, but at least I can do things like design houses and write blogs while I watch! :)
Donuts - Again - I could really down them, but I've also sworn off of them.  In fact - I had my first one in 18 months just yesterday - a maple bar.  It was good, but I think I have to wait another year and a half.

But - one of my biggest addictions was the video game Defender.  There was a game located at a bowling alley just a half a mile away from where I lived.  This also happened to be right between where I worked and my home.  It was TERRIBLY convenient and very easy to just stop on my way home.

The bad guys
Defender is an incredible game.  If you're unfamiliar with it, the mission was to fly your spaceship over an alien planet surface and pick up a bunch of humans that were stranded on the ground.  You flew either left or right on the screen - which was a long wrap screen - and you could both  fire a laser gun and you could drop a "smart bomb", which would obliterate everything currently on the screen.  
You were up against an arsenal of landers, mutants, orbiters, bomber, pods and swarmers that came out of an exploded pod.  All of  these had only two purposes... to kill you, or to capture and mutate all the humans on the ground..

The game was fast paced and though only two dimensional it was very challenging.  One of the neat features was that it had a "radar" type screen that was a horizontal band at the bottom of the screen which enabled you to see everything happening on the entire surface.  For instance, you could see when one of the landers was trying to grab one of the stranded humans.  They would then rise on the screen and into mutants if they got to the top.  If you could see them getting picked up on the radar, you could race over there, shoot the mutant and catch/save catch the falling human.

I spent a lot of time playing it... a lot.  And I spent a lot of money.  Sure - it only cost a quarter, but when you play a lot, the quarters add up.  However - the advantage is that when you play a lot, you get better... a lot better.  During my early times of playing, I would play for a long time and spend a lot of quarters, but at the end of the time I was playing, I play for 30 or 45 minutes on one quarter.  I did actually turn the machine over a million points - a feat that I only ever saw one other person do.  Of course - back in the '70s - it wasn't like my family could just call me on my cell and ask where I was... I just wasn't home yet.  I'd just get home late and had a variety of excuses as to why I was late / where I was / etc.
Should I do this to my office?

So - I came to the realization - and I think my brother actually did an intervention (although we just called it "talking some sense into you" back then) that I needed to stop letting the game rule me and start ruling the game - or more importantly - my time.  Eventually, I chose to totally quit, and it has been YEARS since I've played.  I have seen that you can actually play it on line now. but I don't think I'll go there.

I suppose that if I ever really got back into it I'd probably lay out my office like this picture.  I wonder if having it there to play at any time would ruin me or if I could better control myself?  Of course, now I have a wife who can have a *wee* bit of influence on how I spend my time.  I'll probably never know.

How about you all - did you have any video game addiction?

1 comment:

joe said...

My '70s addiction was "Marathon" candy bars, but they don't make those any more