It’s on like Donkey Kong!
Today I visited Game On at the State Library of Queensland. It’s a great exhibition originally curated by the Barbican in London chronicling the history of gaming. The big draw card are the multitudes of playable vintage and modern games. I should have known better than to go on it’s last day though. It was a great time but, man, there were a lot of people there. I queued for a ticket and then queued again for entry. It was during this copious queuing time that I realised I should have talked someone else into going with me. Other groups of two or more were able to strategically queue in both lines, thus cutting down overall queuing time. Smart move. I didn’t time how long it took to get in (no point, it’s what I went to Brisbane to see) but I would have spent a good 40 mins to 1 hour waiting. As did everyone else I might add, without grumbling. It was all very civilised. The two middle aged guys in front of me spent the time cracking jokes with one another and playing Tetris on their phones.
There were so many awesome games there I didn’t get to play on everything but I got a go on all the big names (for me at least). For fairness’s sake everyone was asked to keep their game time to five minutes per game in busy periods. It was all very nostalgia inducing as I waited my turn on Centipede, Xevious, Mario Bros and many others. I had a go at the original arcade version of Donkey Kong but I sucked. Those rolling barrels kept knocking Mario out for the count. I played multiple versions of Street and Virtua Fighter. In fact it was during my go on a mid nineties arcade version of VirtuaFighter that I encountered the only whining I heard today. Standing behind me was a father and his maybe nine year old son. They’d been there for all of twenty seconds when I started loading up new characters (my turn not being over yet) causing the son to whine “But IIIIII want to go on this one” (you can probably imagine the tone of voice used). And do you know that counting down 10, 9, 8…..2, 1, 0 till my game starts will not make me give you the controller quicker, nor will making various bored noises, nor will touching the buttons on the non-playing second person controller. I have my contacts in today, which means that today at least I have the peripheral vision to see such behaviour while I’m being KO’d by Kung Fu masters.
In fact I got KO’d by masters of various different martial arts today. I’d like to think it’s old programming that makes the computer so hard to beat instead of it being me that’s rubbish. I remember being good at some of these games – it was just a very long time ago. After falling in a few tarpits I also remembered why Pitfall Harry from the Atari 2600 and I never really got along. All he does is run and jump and get eaten by crocodiles (that’s how good I am). I also got to play a very, very early nineties version of Prince of Persia where all I could get him to do was run slowly into walls, which made it look like he was humping them. I’m easily amused. I’ll admit I spent a few hours in the exhibition. It’s a shame it’s over now because I’d highly recommend going.
I walked over the bridge for a late lunch in the city having spent some time at the Southbank markets this morning. I managed to get Chicken Katsudonand some nice bubble tea for lunch. The Katsudon was just a big bowl of delicious (even though it includes stuff I wouldn’t normally eat). Fried chicken makes everything better.