Inside Pulse 12

A Thumb To The Eye 30

When I was in high school, a length of time ago I care not to comment on, I was in a writers’ club. Most of what was written was exactly the sort of smug, self-absorbed, semi-goth, anti-social diatribe a 14 year old could get away with in pre-Columbine America. On rare occasions, something really interesting would come dripping from the pens of my fellow malcontents. Those special writings were, almost universally, different because, amongst the sub-Anne Rice horror erotica and illiterate Kerouac riffing, something truly moving would be read aloud, something that embraced that most rarely expressed human emotion: true, uninhibited, unrehearsed, unsolicited joy. A daisy in a bramble of dead roses and thorns, this joy elicited confusion from the schadenfreude dwellers and smirks of admiration from the instructors. Why was this such a rarity? Because, as I replied to a befuddled teacher who asked why I never wrote about happiness, “I only write when there’s nothing better to do.”

Well, for once, I’m going to write about something I am happy about. Why this feeling and why now? I’m too broke for a 360 or a PS3, too uninspired to purchase a PSP. I barely use my DS for commercial games, although I do love homebrew. No, I am happy because of my Nintendo Wii, a system I maligned before release, bought months after it was a hot ticket item, and barely buy games for. I am happy because of the Virtual Console.

I love NES games. I can hop through DuckTales and the Chip & Dale’s Rescue Rangers games for hours, smiling as I did two decades ago. On the Wii, though, I can do it in style. The Classic controller is wireless enough for me and perfectly rendered. The Wii gives me access to games that I missed, games too rare, too collectible, too import to buy easily in physical form.

I never owned a Turbo Grafix- 16, but I just played Bomberman ’93 three player for an hour. It was epic. I can play Sin and Punishment, Alien Soldier, and DoReMi Fantasy without adaptors or import systems.

I can play Bubble Bobble with no wires and no blowing on the GamePak. That makes me happy.

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