For a brief, shining moment, Justin thought I was the greatest “Gamer” on the planet. He looked at me with awe and envy because I was able to do what he could not: I beat a video game!
Lego Dimensions is the video game of choice in our house. If you haven’t played it, it’s a Lego game that incorporates characters from popular movies and television shows, such as “Ghostbusters,” “Doctor Who,” and “The Simpsons” and allows the player to complete challenges in each world using items like “Echo1” and the “Back to the Future” hoverboard.
One of the final Player Packs that was just released is called “The Midway Arcade Level Pack.” As the Gamer character, your task is to complete ‘80s/retro Midway games like Joust, Rampage, and Defender. Justin knew these games by name. What he didn’t know was that these were the games that I spent YEARS mastering in my youth. Nothing was better than having both pockets full of quarters and spending time in the darkened arcade of Perimeter Mall in the late 80’s.
Excitedly, Justin opened the new pack and loaded his game onto the Xbox 360. Out of curiosity, I stayed with him to see how authentic these Midway games were. (Spot on!) Once he was in the game, his character was given a series of challenges. Repeatedly, his character failed each challenge because he could not complete the basic levels of the retro Midway games.
“Dad?” he said meekly as he handed me the controller. “Can you try and get me past this level?”
AH-HA!!!! I had been waiting for this moment for YEARS!!! Now, my oldest son was about to witness my true talent! GenX Daddy was about to teach a lesson in “8-Bit Video Game Whoop-Ass!”
With ease, I was able to complete level after level. Justin kept looking at the television and then back at me as if I was performing miracles. Finally, I handed him back the controller and announce – “The levels are open!” It blew his mind.
And, then I confused him when I took my ‘80s video game pop culture references too far by asking him in a robotic voice: “Shall we play a game? How about a nice game of Chess, Joshua?”
“Um…my name is Justin,” he replied. (Note to self: Show Justin “War Games.”)