I do not like modern video games. In fact I hate them. By modern I mean 1995-present.

Wait. I’m not sure I ever really enjoyed video games. I remember a 27-year-old Mom playing Super Mario Bros. around 1989 and making it to level 3-1, further than I had ever been, and me angrily hitting the Power button to end her game abruptly. Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’ve always hated video games and the people who program them.

Why do you have to make them so damn hard? Were you some dork in school and now is your chance to prove to everyone that you can program a game that the general public can’t win?

I will not play a video game that has anything to do with shooting a gun. This is because everyone who’s not me has already played the game thousands of times and knows the controls, and I sit there like a jackass spinning in circles shooting bullets at the walls and inevitably killing myself.

I will not play a video game that has anything to do with racing a car. This is because my car always goes off cliffs, if I’m lucky enough to drive it straight. Or more often than not, it goes backwards. And it always comes down to the first 0.1 seconds. If your car isn’t revved up and ready to shoot out the gates as the light turns green, you’re effed.

Video games are hard. I want them to be easy. I want there to be a setting on every game that is for babies about to climb out of the womb. Not newborns, but babies about to be born. When I play a game I want it to be a fun experience, not an impossible experience. I think most games must be made for game nuts who intend to sit down for 358,830 hours and play a game until they figure it out. I want to sit down for 40 minutes, have fun, and then quit and do something else. I don’t think they make games for that segment of the population. I truly believe that.

That said, there are some exceptions to my belief system. I will play a video game if it is a major US sports game and it is against the computer on the easiest settings possible. And I literally mean easiest. That means setting all the computer sliders to zero and all the human sliders to 100.

I will never play against an online opponent.  And I will definitely not play against a friend in person, because if they beat me I’ll sulk and throw something, and in the unlikely scenario that I’m beating them I’ll feel bad and start to let them win, in which case I will realize that I’m now losing and sulk and throw something.

The only human opponent I will ever consider playing in any true direct competition video game is Alex Glanzer. And years later, after years of sitting in Alex’s bedroom playing Triple Play 98 and NBA Live 96 and NFL Xtreme 97, he told me he was letting me win because if I lost I would sulk and throw something. That is accurate, but I still kinda think I was actually beating him. He’s the only person I could play in a game and not feel bad about beating if I actually won.

Tonight at a party, four of us guys played James Bond: Golden Eye on N64.  I had zero kills.  The others had 20, 17, and 13. It was at that point I decided no more. It brings me no pleasure whatsoever to play video games. I don’t want to be in competition with my friends. And I don’t want to do something that I know will make me extremely angry.