One of the options of playing Mario Kart Wii was to go on-line and play against others around the world. When we got the game and game console about five years ago, it was top of the line. I still have our old Nintendo Game Cube and wish we never got rid of Nintendo 64 during a yard sale before leaving Vancouver. It’s not that long ago. But in terms of game consoles and advancing technology, our Wii is ancient now. In fact, Nintendo is forcing novice and reluctant gamers like me to buy the newer and better consoles.
And this saddens me. Really.
There’s something missing from my gaming experience. Playing against the computer doesn’t cut it. The joy, and frustration, of playing against live and real players around the world heightened my game. And when I would yell at the other gamers my daughters would remind me, “mom, you know you’re playing against Juan who is probably 5 or 6, and, you’re calling him names?!”
“Ha. Juan is a little jerk who cheats. Who teaches their kid that cheating is acceptable,” as I release a series of Koopa shells and Juan goes tumbling off the cliff. “Take that cheater.”
At this point, my girls leave the room, laughing.
It is a serious game.
A few weeks ago, I went back to play and get competitive with my on-line gamers. As I wait for everything to load, the Wii is churning and I can hear the disk inside spinning. A screen comes with a message that goes something like this:
The wifi option of this games is not supported by this console. Too bad, so sad, sucker. You now have to upgrade to continue your on-line gaming experience. All your friends miss you. They’re waiting.
This must be wrong. Shutting it all down. Reboot. Restart.
The same message appears.
NOooo I scream out.
My daughters rush downstairs into our entertainment cave. Expecting the worse. Maybe I fell. Maybe I got shocked with a mild burst of electricity running through my body.
I’m sitting there, slightly slumped forward, head hanging down with a single tear trailing down my high cheekbone.
Oh no, it’s worse than they first thought. They rush to each side of me, patting me on the back. “mom” they whisper almost afraid of the response. “what happened?”
I shake my head back and forth and just point at the Wii. “It’s not letting me go on-line anymore. I-I-I have to upgrade to Wii U to play on-line.”
“Seriously? Oh mom, that sucks. I thought it was more serious.”
“But that is serious.” I almost felt like crying.
And at the moment I realize that mourning effects everything and how little things can make things seem so much bigger.
I was upset about my game but I was also upset at losing my cousins. This disruption, this insignificant change in service connected to the unforeseen loss of family members. I was still experiencing such a loss and losing my on-line gaming experience seemed unbearable.
I embraced this loss. All of it. Some things, some people just can’t be replaced. Our memories are still intact and we can still visit with them as much as we want.