Posts Tagged ‘Atari’

Computer catapult games

January 23, 2011

Andrew Hicks

I got back into the habit of typing “2010” in as I write new blog entries, so on the 20th, I went back to get an updated tally of how many January days I’ve mislabeled in 2011. It was a dead heat after the first 20 days — 10 posts labeled “2010,” and 10 labeled “2011.” Now that I’ve devoted this time and space to analyze the issue twice, I think I’ve broken myself of the habit. The last three days’ worth of blogs have managed to correctly identify the year in which they were written.

This habit has caused me problems in the past. I was in the DMV one January afternoon, titling a car I’d just bought, and when I went to sign my part of the title, I wrote down the wrong year, the earlier year. Oops. They had to get the seller on the phone — I’d bought it from a friend, but it was still in her mother’s name, and her mother lived in Louisiana — and fax the title over to some Shreveport Office Max or something. She showed up there, and I guess initialed her approval of the scribbled-on date change, then she faxed it back.

I think she was working out when her daughter called her, so I appreciate her getting her sweaty ass over to the nearest Office Max fax machine. I got every penny of my money’s worth out of that car, too.

Sarah seems to have already graduated from wanting to sit on my lap and watch Mickey Mouse shorts on YouTube to wanting to play paint coloring games on the computer. Well, she doesn’t play really, but she watches me color in the different elements of the “No Square Wheels” sign on Jungle Junction‘s website. It’s a little tedious for me to color in endless simple cartoon drawings, but it’s made me more mindful of the color palette in general. I no longer wear pink and green in conjunction with diagonal stripes. Not after Labor Day, anyway.

I found out Sarah stays entertained watching me play computer games, too. Though I am and have always been a huge nerd, the peak of my “gaming” life was probably at the age of 12 or so. I was a huge childhood fan of Atari and the original Nintendo Entertainment System; anything more sophisticated than that I’ve only played sporadically or not at all. And I don’t sit around and play games online, either. All of a sudden, I have to build a repertoire. That should be fun.

On one of the paint sites, I found a game where you launch a brave little guy off a catapult, setting the strength and trajectory angles by pushing the space bar at a certain time. The first eight or so times I played it, I didn’t know what else you were supposed to do, so the guy kept having graphic, brutal ground landings. Sarah was saying, “Owww!” and “Are you okay?” Later, I found out you could get jumping powers by sailing through pink clouds, and that the little guy came equipped with parachute.

The instructions and all the game buttons were in German, so it took me a minute. Thank God for the occasional obvious visual aid or English word. “Die menschen zu fliegen durch die luft UP ARROW. Ddie rosa wolke durch drücken SPACE BAR.” I was a German Translator Tool to the preceding sentence. Then I wrote this sentence in English and translated to English, then translated it back to English.*

*Original text: “I used a German translator tool to provide the preceding sentence. Then I wrote this sentence in English, translated it to German, then translated it back to English.”


At a Cardinals game with Tiffany on Easter, 2009.