Edge of lunacy

Being the new year, one feels obliged to go with the flow and make some sort of resolution; or in my case, I couldn’t be bothered to rebel against tradition.  ‘Get more exercise’ was fished from the generic pool of New Year flotsam and tacked to my to-do list next to other equally unrealistic notes such as ‘get up earlier’ and ‘stop taking bites out of Jammy Dodgers and putting them back in the cookie jar’. 

The first thing one thinks about after making such a ground breaking decision like that, is to work out every conceivable way of actually avoiding doing it without breaking the spirit of your promise.  Wanting to game a little more clashes with time set aside for exercise, so I decide to exercise my thumbs and play Xbox.  Now there are some, let us call them lunatics, who may tentatively hold up Wii Fit as a good compromise.

If the universe is feeling especially benevolent, the same ‘game’ may slip from their hands and knock some sense into them.  I usually grit my teeth when people I know mention they have purchased it and I try to think happy thoughts.  Slug I may be, but I hang onto the illusion that I have enough dignity left not to prance around on a plastic step in front of the television displaying a bobble- headed representation of me.  Sorry, Mii.  No.  There are far better ways to abandon one’s dignity, though I didn’t discover them until it was too late…

My tale of cringe begins with a game called Mirror’s Edge.  We all know about its minimalist beauty, flowing, free-running gameplay and the fluid movement of its beguiling, hard-as-nails heroine.  What I did not know was that it would (aside from having me mangling my controller in sheer fury on a regular basis), turn me into a lurching, squeaking, lunging lunatic.

I wake up in cold sweats at night at the thought that someone may possess a tape of me stretching my body out like a champion ski-jumper while trying to make that foolhardy jump.  That someone somewhere may be snickering over a You Tube video of me leaning at a 65 degree angle to counterbalance myself as I traverse a conveniently placed pipe.  That my squeaks of terror and violent dodging, that my frantic waving and pecking, full-body lunges at the television as I plummet into a storm drain may be on tape somewhere. I worry these actions make up a secret documentary about the adverse mental affects of video games on the human brain.

It suddenly occurred to me that for all my piss taking, the Wii still had the last laugh – I’m not even playing it and I have turned into a human WiiMote.  I can’t play Mirror’s Edge without turning into a flailing, body-weaving contorting tit… even Wii-Fitters would point and laugh if they could see me and they have precious little high ground to mount.  If I’m ever to salvage any tatters of dignity, I need to play this game strapped ‘Hannibal Lecter Style’ to a sodding board.  As much as I love the game, it makes me do these bad things.  Worst of all, if I’m to get a little serious – It inspires jealousy.  Jealousy that I’m not young enough any more or fit enough to flow across the rooftops and explore the breathtaking Parkour sport upon which it is based.  Jealous that I don’t have some immediate goal that can be accomplished with a damn good run up and some grippy trainers.  That instead of my heart pumping in exhilaration, it’s staving off another attacking wave of Pringle fallout.

Maybe the prophesied downfall of my half-arsed resolution, i.e gaming, has in a perverse way been its saviour.  I won’t be throwing myself around rooftops anytime soon… I left my ‘Boots of Springheel Jak’ in my pad in Skingrad but it is certainly enough to inspire me to try one time to keep the promise to be a tad fitter, a hair more active, and damn it, a touch more cool (I know, as if I need to when I own a top hat, right?).  And if that doesn’t work, I’m sure all that embarrassing lurching in front of the console will work off enough Yuletide biscuits to allow me enough energy to point and laugh at everyone else who is donning their best Lizzie Webb garb this fresh new year and mounting a plastic brick.  Roll on the Mirror’s Edge sequel, because by then, I’ll be too cool for skool and thinner than a ghost’s G-string.  Or probably not, but the sentiment is there.


6 responses to “Edge of lunacy”

  1. Rob avatar

    When i play mirrior’s edge i find myself doing the same thing. Or when i’m playing halo 3 with my maes i woul usually dodge the oncoming rocket aswell as master cheif. Then look a right tit and next thig i know People are sniggring. But Hey thats how i play the game.

  2. John.B avatar

    I fear for the Mirrors Edge sequel. The game hardly sold well and you know what publishers are like with new ideas. I can see a third person more gun heavy version of Mirrors edge on it’s way, which is a damn shame because with some tweaks it could be a great series.

  3. blagmasterg avatar

    LOLZ @ ‘Thinner than a ghosts G-String’ – I am definitely writing that one down for future use!

    I actually do own a copy of wii fit – MrsG was terribly excited about it and so I bought it for her, though a combination of adverse circumstances last year means that she hasn’t used it much yet (I should also add that MrsG is not, by any stretch of the imagination whatsoever, a gamer)

    I do however relate to the whole ‘moving one’s body whilst playing normal games’ phenomenon. I have always been a ‘corner leaner’ in racing games, right back to Chase HQ on my beloved speccy and FPS’s usually induce some ducking and diving on the G household couch. Haven’t played Mirrors Edge yet tho. I’m too scared of getting motion sickness :S

  4. Duncan Aird avatar
    Duncan Aird

    I have a similar brain condition, the entire time I was playing Mirror’s Edge all I could ever hear in my head was Harrison Ford screaming: “Don’t go into the light!”

  5. Scott avatar

    @ John.B: Worried about a “Warrior Within” scenario? Understandable. 😉

    I haven’t played through Mirror’s Edge yet, but I did enjoy the demo, trial-and-error-based though it was. If it can accidently inspire embarrassing public displays of excercise, then I’m all for it!

  6. Lorna avatar

    Well worth a play. Though there are some frustrating parts and the Time Trials will make you want to weep blood, it is a fantastic play. Also supports more original IP and nary a space marine in sight…

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