Lumines Supernova (Playstation 3)

It’s nearing 10:00 and my son is sleeping on my chest, breathing deeply. My wife sits near me, knitting and chatting with me about nothing in particular. My eyes are focused on the television, watching Lumines Supernova on the screen. Even though I’m playing the game, my mind isn’t paying attention. Instead, I’m content to enjoy a quiet, relaxing Saturday evening with my family. I notice the blocks rise and fall, the music periodically changes, and the visuals shift from one scene to the next, but the game seems more like something far off in the distance. Happily, so do the worries and responsibilites that usually consume my thoughts.

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Mass Effect (XBox 360)

As my party and I approach the Presidium on our way to the Wards, we encounter an argument between a Turian officer and a Hanar evangelist. The poor officer seems at wit’s end trying to dissuade the Hanar from continuing to preach without a license. Even though I’ve got more important business to take care of, I decide to step in and see if there’s anything I can do to help. The Hanar claims to have no money but feels it’s wrong to have to pay to spread its message. The Turian, on the other hand, is just trying to do his job and obviously would rather not be dealing with such a trivial issue. After hearing both parties out I decide to pay for the Hanar’s permit and everyone is happy. I linger for just a moment to take in the strangeness of the jellyfish-like Hanar’s appearance before continuing on my way.

Pikmin (Gamecube)

A bell rings out signaling the end of the day. However, Captain Olimar is still looking for a few stray Pikmin. Finally, in what seems like the last corner of the forest, Olimar discovers the missing Pikmin struggling to carry a fallen foe back to camp. Unfortunately, if they want to survive they’ll have to abandon their spoils. Olimar blows his whistle and the Pikmin quickly fall in line, just in the nick of time to board their spacecraft and blast off. Olimar’s small fleet of ships zooms into the sky, just ahead of a group of hungry predators who had discovered the camp a little too late.

Sam & Max: Episode 1 (Wii)

It’s near the beginning of the game and I’m already stuck. A mouse in the office has demanded Swiss cheese in return for the phone he stole. Looking in the closet, I see a massive pile of cheese, but none of it is Swiss. As I’m struggling to figure out what to do, my wife sits down next to me and watches me play. After hearing a few minutes of the dialogue she says, “This is corny.” At that point she gets up and heads to the other room to play with our son. I focus back on the game, and soon it dawns upon me that I should shoot holes in the cheese with a pistol. Problem solved. But the “corny” comment sticks in my mind. A few minutes later I turn off the Wii and go play with my wife and son.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 (XBox 360)

The game is nearing its end, however this time it’s different. As always I haven’t managed to score a goal, but for once neither has my opponent. I make what may be my final attack down the field and take a shot. It’s a miss. Soon overtime begins and the crowd shows no signs of losing steam. My players are tired but determined, but our opponents seem to have more energy and focus. Before long, the soccer ball slips past our goalie and victory is theirs. It was a good fight, but in the end only one team can leave the field victorious.