My legacy is embedded in the ancients. I come from the dark recesses of the pre-technology era. No, not the time before horseless carriages or taking into the skies in those newfangled airplane contraptions! I came of age with the electronic gaming systems.
It all began when Mom and Dad brought home the latest marvel of advanced engineering; the Pong game. We sat in awe with controller in hand, tethered to that magical box of circuitry. We turned the dial on the handset and our video paddle would move up and down, gently tapping the pinpoint “ball” back and forth. My parents had pulled out all of the stops; so we could play tennis, two-person hockey, and even handball. The only drawback was that there were two controllers and three siblings!
Over time the game systems were upgraded; with Atari, Sega, and Nintendo boxes finding their way into my household. My three daughters became part of a new revolution in gaming; with advanced graphics and incredible sound quality. Sure, you had to remember to A-A-Z-B sequence of controller buttons to make you batter bunt; but it was a quantum leap forward from the days of turning the dial left and right!
Now we have made yet another bold advance in our quest for virtual domination of gaming. The latest systems allow you to hold a wireless controller in your hand, or better yet no controller whatsoever. A camera catches you movements or a pad feels the movement of your feet. Amazingly, the manufacturers of these game consoles are extolling the health benefits to be reaped from their new technology! Now you can get that complete body workout by playing virtual tennis or competing in the Summer Olympics!
I am one email away from suggesting the next great advancement in the gaming experience to the video game manufacturers! Why not include a sunlamp and a fan with these games as well? Then you can tease your senses with the feel of the sun baking your body and a slight breeze blowing through your hair! What a dimension that would add to your virtual golf game at Pebble Beach!
We have now reached a new height in becoming a society of “shut-ins!” We can play any sport we desire from the comfort of our dens. We no longer have to get dressed up and go to the show. Instead we throw a bag a popcorn into the microwave and order the latest on-demand movie! We do not have to be bothered with all of those pesky people milling about the library. Instead we go online and download the latest e-book for our reader. Our children do not have to be inconvenienced with the interaction of their peers any longer. Instead we can home school them! What about going to cultural events where perhaps you might find a soul mate with shared interests? Nah, just long on, punch in your criteria, and a magical portal will suggest your perfect date for Saturday night! Make a phone call to catch up with a friend or family member? Forget it! Just put up a quick post or send out a phone update and the whole world knows your dog ate a box of crayons!
There was a time where each of us had to deal with one another. We learned that the world was made up of a wonderful menagerie of personalities, some good and some bad! We had to develop skills to cope with the differences that make us so rich as a species. As our reward, we were blessed with the treasure of human connection. Now, in this age of technological isolation, we are quickly becoming a race of moles; burrowing away anonymously and absorbed in our diminishing circle of personal contact.
Recently I found myself with a small financial windfall. It was either buy a new game system complete with the latest baseball game or purchase a real baseball, mitt, and bat. As I stood in the middle of the deserted ball field at the park; something moving in the distance caught my eye! Could it be? At the top of what appeared to be a small mound were two creatures sunning themselves. The moles had won!