I am not a video game person. I enjoyed Atari Pac Man, Frogger and Jungle Hunt at a friend’s house as a wee one. I played, off and on, Zelda and Super Mario Brothers from the time my sister purchased them and a Nintendo player things sometime in the 80s until this year, when the Nintendo finally broke, but I never made significant progress. Never rescued any princesses.
While I was in Memphis for the AIGA conference last fall, I walked into the lobby of the Marriott and observed some men watching a football game on a big television. It was only much later that I realized that there was no football game, they were playing one of those newfangled 3D video games that look so alarmingly realistic. I’ve seen talks about the design of Rock Band but have never had any impulse to play it (I don’t do karaoke either — though I was a singer and guitarist in a real band for many years). Basically, I’m a flaming Luddite when it comes to the enormous, ubiquitous world of the modern video game (or is that gaming?) industry. And I’m ok with that.
I do, however, occasionally latch on to simple little games on my iPhone or desktop computer. I went through a Tetris phase, and Bejeweled, and something called Super Nisqually then Scrabulous (when it was still cool), and proper Scrabble, and Bananagrams on Facebook, then back to Bejeweled — this time, the Blitz version you play on your phone against your Facebook friends.
Each game is just a minute, so it’s low-commitment. Of course, I find it impossible to play fewer than 8 million gazillion games in a row, so the time-commitment does tend to add up. Luckily, it’s not a total waste of time. I’ve decided that playing Bejeweled Blitz on the iPhone against my Facebook friends is a wonderful experience, equivalent to a certain type of meditation, and full of hidden wisdom and lessons. Here is what I have learned: