Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Dance, Dance Fever and Fighter Jet Madness . . .
After work yesterday we went to Chuck E. Cheese's to join my niece, Lexy, and the rest of the family to celebrate Lexy's 8th Birthday.
Chuck E. Cheese, to me, is sort of like the dentist.
There ARE people who enjoy it. There ARE people who see the value and the importance of going. There ARE people who anxiously count the days until they can visit again. For me - both places are just torturous locations full of crying kids, scary metal objects (swap drills for the "animated" Chuck E. Chesse Band) and things that taste terrible (flouride or pizza).
MOST people who like Chuck E. Cheese will tell you (I hope and pray) that the beauty of the place is the games. It certainly would not be the pizza (which I didn't even consider nibbling on) or the salad bar (which, sadly, I did try to partake in).
But the video games - oh the joy of video games - now you've got me back to enthused. I used to play a LOT of video games. Actually - let me rephrase that - I used to spend many, many, many hours playing the same video game . . . Tiger Woods Golf. I once played for 11 straight hours - took and hour off and played for four more hours. That was long, long ago though and that was sitting on my couch with a controller in my hand.
Chuck E. Cheese has very different games. You can either hand over token after token after token to get cardboard tickets that you can eventually swap back for prizes that are no where near as valuable as the $10 in tokens you wasted to earn them OR you can play these hugely overscaled games that feature guns, pedals, moving seats, taped off marks on the floor for "clearance zones" and dizzying lights and features to add to their allure. Not being much of a ticket swapper at this stage in my life . . . I decided to just sit out the games. I would simply walk Ava around and let her see the sights and sounds and enjoy being with the family.
Then - I saw it - a HUGE jet simulator video game with a fully moving seat and enough blinky lights to make it worth risking the seizure I might suffer for playing. My father-in-law actually saw it first but . . . I decided I MUST play it first. I stole a token from my niece (in my defense, we had given her 50 of them) and climbed on.
As the game began, I had a revelation . . . I was on top of a video game. In PUBLIC. I was not worried about if I would fit on the game or not. I was not worried about breaking the game. I was not concerned that I might not be able to really move with the game. I just wanted to check it out. I rode the jet and I blew LOTS of stuff up. Including my own jet. Several times. I giggled with delight at the whole thing . . . I was like a kid again - riding a video game and blowing stuff up. Something I have not even THOUGHT about doing in well over a decade (I was a senior in high school the last time I "rode" a video game).
I eventually handed off the controls of my kick-ass fighter jet to my father-in-law and then headed over eight feet to see what all the girls were giggling about . . . DANCE DANCE FEVER. That's right - the Asian-Sensation of video games. The sweat pouring, booty shakin', hip breakin' fantastically silly game where you jump around on nine squares that coorespond to the dance moves the game lays out for you on the screen to earn points and to show your dance floor dominance. And here is the REALLY weird thing . . . I waited my turn and jumped on the dance pads and had a go at it.
I only danced for about 15 seconds - it is not nearly as easy to keep up with the screen as I thought it was going to be - but I was jumping up and down on a video game in public too - with my mother-in-law taking pictures the whole time (pictures that will NOT make their way to this blog).
I didn't enjoy Chuck E. Cheese nearly as much as Lexy did (or Ava did for that matter) but, I felt a little bit like a kid none the less . . . and that made the whole experience a little more enjoyable.