Do you remember Night Driver? Better yet, do you remember Atari? It’s a shock to the system when someone says he doesn’t. I’m finding the older I get, the more often I encounter these someones. People who don’t remember the stuff I just assume everyone knows.
It first happened a few weeks ago on the Metro. It was rush hour, and I was minding my own business, eavesdropping as usual, and I heard the following exchange:
“Hey, have you ever seen that movie Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure?”
“No. What is it?”
What is it? Really? Shut up, Ted!
Now, I’m not saying Bill & Ted’s is necessarily iconic, but I do consider it one of those movies that you’d just expect everyone would at least recognize. Apparently not. The Metro incident stuck with me, and I quizzed an intern the next day. What had he seen? What did he know? Had he ever heard of (insert 80’s film here)? Specifics aside, I left that inquisition dejected too. Clearly, it’s an age thing.
That age thing reared its ugly head again this weekend during what my friends and I refer to as “board game night” but should be lovingly renamed “wine, beer, and oh, weren’t we supposed to be playing something?” night. The crowd spanned from early 20’s to early-30’s, and when the conversation turned to video games, the distinction grew mortifyingly apparent. My younger friends knew Nintendo. They knew nothing of Atari. Not even a little. The joy of the Joystick and that one red button lost on a whole generation.
Don’t get me wrong. I totally appreciate where gaming stands today, and I accept my limitations. For instance, I can’t play fast FPS games because they make me nauseous, and my “Wii age” is downright depressing. I tried DDR at an ESPN Zone recently, and it ended before I could even move a foot. Twice. So I know exactly when video games outgrew me, and I am ok with that. It’s still fun to try. But it is not fun to learn that your pop culture references are no longer the norm and that you can get beat at Trivial Pursuit 90’s edition because your younger friends just remember the early 90’s better than you do. Who needs THAT age verification? No thanks. Your turn.
But overall, the good truth is that I feel great, I like getting older, and generally, I don’t think about my age. In fact, I wouldn’t mind figuring out how to get the rest of the world to stop reminding me on a regular basis.
Now, that would be an excellent game. We could call it Delusional Pursuit. Wanna play?