Balancing a 14-month-old on my lap is proving to be detrimental to my performance. I used to play this game for hours at a time on my Dreamcast a decade ago, but I’d never played the original arcade version until now. My skills are definitely rusty, and my daughter is not helping one bit. “No no, Yoshie!” She’s not listening. I turn my body sideways to keep the wheel out of her reach, but that leaves me with only one hand to work with. We’re running out of time and our customer is getting impatient. At least B.D. Joe has got our back with this unruly passenger. “Shut up and move your butt!” The drop-off location is coming into view but there are only seconds left. There’s no way we’re going to make it. I look down at my daughter and she’s grinning, her eyes fixated on the screen and her hands still reaching toward the steering wheel. Our final score was laughable, but this was the best game of Crazy Taxi ever.
Well, I suppose we should have expected this. We assumed our son was asleep for the night, but only minutes after putting him to bed we heard him crying. My wife went upstairs to see what was wrong and a minute later she was back downstairs, carrying our boy. Her expression said it all, but she clarified all the same: “He’s afraid of ‘The Zombies.’” Earlier in the evening my wife and I enjoyed a round of The House of the Dead at Peter Piper Pizza, much to our son’s displeasure. “That game’s too scary!” he said as we dropped our tokens into the slot. We assured him that the zombies weren’t real, and he even starting laughing and cheering along with us as we “blasted those silly zombies!” And honestly, the game’s zombies look so blocky and cheesy, it’s hard to think of them as frightening. But the imagination of a child is very powerful, and now we’re paying the price for letting him watch. It’s going to be tough getting our little dude back to sleep tonight. Playing The House of the Dead in front of a four-year-old is definitely not the smartest parenting move on our part, and without sleep tonight we’ll be suffering like G did when the morning rolls around!