Deny it all you want, but you’re getting older! The face creams, surgery and wardrobe makeovers will only do so much — at the end of the day, time is on a level higher than any of us and will loose its effects on us all.
That’s a reality that I recently had to face, anyway — and it all started with a video game.
I’ve been jamming on video games since the ripe old age of 5. It took months, but I eventually got the better of King Koopa in Super Mario Bros. and saved the princess to cement my status as a gamer. Many years would pass and many games with them. I invested countless hours beating whatever game came my way — adding notches on my belt.
Through it all, there were a few series that’d really grab me — series that I continue to play to this very day.
Most notably, there’s The Legend of Zelda.
Now 16 games deep, the Zelda games chronicle the complex history of a land called Hyrule, and how it revolves around the manifestations of three main characters throughout different eras. It contains some of what are arguably the best games Nintendo has put out, and on Sunday, November 20th, the release of the latest game came along — The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
Pushing the enveloping again, Nintendo has it so that your sword completely matches the angle you use to hold your remote, which has a huge impact on the game. So I was stoked when that Sunday came — only to be stopped from getting the game by the Santa Claus Parade. I wish it was because I was attending the parade, but it was more because with the sides of the road thick with families, it was impossible to cross it…
But that’s not my point.
Despite the frustration (which I got out of my system by playing the previous Zelda game for several hours and the disappointment, I was still excited — a new adventure was just a day away.
But even after almost a quarter-century of gaming, I would discover that I could still very much be caught off-guard.
It was partly trying to get used to a whole new set of controls and the challenges that come from that. It was partly from playing a game challenging enough so that I couldn’t immediately find a way to beat the first boss. But primarily, it was because between getting as much gaming in as possible and getting enough rest to function the next day, I was no longer sure that video games would win out anymore.
Somewhere along the line, I got a little more responsible. Somehow I’d started to care a little more. 28-year old Casey couldn’t keep up with 14-year old Casey, yet the world around him continued to grow in complexity, difficulty and size.
So it’s time to make a choice — to keep being who I was, to make the mistakes that I’ve always made, and probably not learn a thing; or I can accept my new life and what’s expected of me, making sure that I can do everything expected of me in the best way that I can.
But, like most things in my life, I have a feeling that it’ll fall somewhere in the middle — just because I’m getting older doesn’t mean that I’ve agreed to be old!
The night is still quite young!
–Casey E. Palmer