Dead Man Whining


As opposed to the usual meaning of this shout (“Come here, Dad. I need something.”), this one is more at the disgust/disdain end of things. 

That’s because I’m dead.

Not literally, of course.  That would make writing this post difficult, and I would hope that my son would be a bit more concerned if he found me deceased.

No, this one is because my Rebel soldier has succumbed to a hail of blaster fire leaving my son’s solider alone to face this particular wave of Imperials.  We’re playing the new video game Star Wars: Battlefront, and, to put it bluntly, I suck.

I’d like to say that it didn’t used to be this way.  I am a part of the first generation of kids to have video game systems in their home.  I had an Atari 2600.  I had an Atari 5200.  I had the original Nintendo Entertainment System.  Hell, I even had an Intellivision.  The year I was heading into junior high, my family moved to a town that had an arcade within biking distance of my house.

I played A LOT of video games. 

But was I ever really any good at them?

If I’m honest, no.  My best years were probably in college.  Give me Chun Li in Super Street Fighter II Turbo or Sub-Zero in Mortal Kombat 3, and I could do pretty well against my friends.  Particularly if I was semi-intoxicated.  Somehow that made me faster.  Or at least far more annoying.  However, if I was to go up against anyone who really knew what they were doing, I would get crushed.

I didn’t get to play much after college, but several years ago I bought an old Playstation 2 from a friend of mine.  It came with Star Wars: Battlefront 1 & 2, which the boy and I played quite a bit.  I tended to win in head to head matches against him, but he was all of about 8 or 9 years old.  Yay, me.  I could beat an elementary schooler.

And even that didn’t last for long.  He quickly began holding his own and then beating me on a regular basis.

That held true whether we were playing against each other in Team Fortress 2, Call of Duty, or the brand new and oh-so-pretty reboot of Star Wars: Battlefront.  Battlefront does have a co-op mode where the two of us work together against 15 waves of Imperial forces. 

That’s where I began this tale.  Somewhere around Wave 5, I died and had to wait until my son finished off the rest of the wave to rejoin the game.  We muddle through the next few waves (Ok.  I muddled.  He cut through Stormtroopers like Death incarnate.), but then somewhere around Wave 9 or 10, he dies. 

I am left alone and outnumbered, but, despite flailing around like Kermit the Frog in a full-on panic, I manage to take out the rest of the wave, bringing him back into the game.

We finish off the last few waves, which brings up the final stats.  My Son – 85 kills.  Me – 40.

“Huh,” he says.  “You didn’t do that bad.”

High praise from the boy.

But let’s be honest.  I still suck.

- Alan Decker

@CmdrAJD on Twitter