Thursday, August 6, 2009
All hell had broken loose. In the guise of a female warrior clad in chain-mail and armed with a broadsword and magic bow and arrow, she spent some forty hours on a deadly rampage through the endless corridors of a dungeon, slaughtering any unfortunate beast that crossed her path. Skeleton kings, poison-spitting mutants, half man-half bats, undead apparitions all fell before her merciless onslaught. And still she pushed on down to the lava caves, determined to further descend to the bowels of hell and kill the demon they call Diablo. ‘Reach out and turn off the computer girl.’ ‘Mum. I don’t think that I can.’ Whenever my daughter Sam is hankering for a bit of retro-gaming, she reaches for the Doom or the Diablo2. After mastering Grand Theft Auto at the age of ten, she started telling me how to drive. We’d be waiting at a set of lights and she’d suggest I drive over the nature strip instead of waiting. Then she seemed to grow out of this destructive phase and she got hooked on creating households in SIMS for most of grade eight. Now she’s sixteen and seems nonplussed about the latest games. Ever since the PlayStation was taken out by a freak lightning strike a couple of years ago, she’s been forced to do her all her gaming on the PC. I came home from a long visit with my mother on the weekend to find she’d been on a Diablo marathon. Apparently she took the phone of the hook, ignored visitors, refused meals and played on and on until she was seeing double. Do you think she was consumed with guilt about the glorious day passing her by? No-uh. Was she wasting time? I don’t know. How does playing games endlessly compare with sitting in the sun on a banana lounge with a book for an entire day? Perhaps it was just my Catholic guilt which demanded every thing I did in life should be bent to a higher purpose. Playing Diablo she rationalised, did have a higher purpose. She was increasing her manual dexterity and honing her spatial skills. If ever Holland Park was invaded by a murderous gang of magma beasts hurling fireballs, she was ready! Anyway I’ve got the shits with the diabolical soundtrack. Just because she’s unable to resist a souped up version of Dungeons and Dragons at 3am in the morning doesn’t mean I’ve got to bloody well put up with it. I’m on the internet right now. I’m going to the Diablo Cheat Zone, cast an invisibility spell then proceed directly to whatever level of hell it is and dispatch Diablo on her ass. I must away. The Evil One awaits!