Monday, June 27, 2011

Love, not War (or Asteroids vs. Mrs. Pacman)

The other day I went to the launch for Heather Justesen’s newest book, Blank Slate, after which a few of us had dinner at an old-school pizzeria. Not only did we actually have to wait for our pizza after we ordered it (I know, crazy, right?) but as I walked into the dining room to have a seat, I found myself surrounded by upright arcade games (ala 1980’s) and a real-live jukebox.

In that moment, I was transported back in time to the childhood in which Asteroids was the ultimate in science fiction, and Ms. Pacman was the epitome of romance.

Am I right? I mean, come on. The Asteroids ship didn’t even move across the bottom of the screen (did it?). You had to have good aim and a quick trigger finger, or there was no way you were making it through space alive. And dying was the ultimate humiliation—no matter your age (just ask my parents and grandparents).

Many family wars have been credited to that game.

Alternately, when you finally made it through level two of Ms. Pacman, even hanging on with one measly life left, the whole effort was worth it when you got to see the uber-romantic chase/kiss scene.

Maybe it’s just me. But romance has always been my thing. And clearly it doesn’t take a lot to woo me. Sometimes, in writing, in life, as well as in arcade games, it’s the small and simple things that make all the difference. Like a silly two-dimensional kiss scene between pizza-head characters.

Oh! Oh. I know. It’s “making love, not war” in terms of Asteroids and Ms. Pacman.


What small and simple things really matter to you?


Jeff King said...

I am from that era… a pocket full of quarters = a good night with friends. Mortal combat was a game changer; I spent hours at seven-eleven.

Heather Cashman said...

Back then . . . big hair was so important. Now, I just love talking with friends over dinner or the small moments my teenagers actually open up to me.

Nichole Giles said...

Yeah, Jeff. And 7-11 had the best Slurpees ever.

Heather, I remember the big hair fad. But I agree that being with friends and our kids, or other people we love are the ultimate small-important moments.

Thanks for your comments!