Sunday, November 18, 2007

Straining The Limits Of Machine And Man

This morning started, as many Sunday mornings do, with my son sitting in front of his video game, jaw agape. I watched him play for a while, and found myself assuming a parental role in the play of the game. "Why don't you go back there and check out what's in the chest?" and "If you press the A button, you could probably turn that guy into a bridge." The truth is, he didn't really need my help. He was wandering in the surreal landscape of an imaginary world with his ice sword and drenching abilities without a care.
He was happy to be in a place where the consequences, though dire, were well within his abilities. He never questioned the reality of the game, he just moved matter of factly through the gates and valleys blowing things up and then trying to figure out what they were. It reminded me of the broad acceptance kids have for technology. They are much more instinctual users, pushing buttons that ought to work rather than fussing over what the manual might say.
It made me think of Rush. Listening to a song like "Red Barchetta", with its science fiction shell and its easily digested "oh wow" theme, is like a six minute ride into an alternate reality. A reality that is only threatening in the most vicarious way, and by the time the Neil Peart drum solo kicks in there is only a triumphant escape and a chance to play again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wait for Guitar Hero to hit. Makes young'ns look like rock stars and adults like idiots!