Peggle (XBox 360)

I told my wife I thought she’d like Peggle and persuaded her to give it a try. That was about five hours ago. She’s still playing. Our son has been asleep since before I handed her the controller, and I don’t know how much longer I can stay awake, either. I take a look at the clock and notice it’s almost 3:00 am. Thankfully I don’t have to work tomorrow and it’s so fun to see my wife completely enthralled with a game. She’s doing much better than I had, too, and is breezing through all the stages. But sleep is calling, and I think it’s about time I head upstairs and climb into bed. Goodnight, my sweet Peggle addict!

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GTI Club Plus (Playstation 3)

My poor, sick little son. His skin feels so warm and his eyes look out at the world with sadness and fatigue. I take him in my lap and hold him close. Lately he’s been obsessed with all things “car” and I know what’ll make him feel better. I pick up the Playstation 3 controller from the table next to our chair and fire the system up. Soon we’re zooming through the streets in GTI Club Plus. My son points at the screen and whispers, “Whoa.” Daddy’s not so good at this game and in our first run we don’t even make it through the second lap before time expires, but neither of us care. We start over and try different paths, weaving between opponents as we veer around the sharp turns. My son readjusts his position and snuggles against my chest. I kiss the top of his head and keep steering the car, both of us with our eyes fixed on the screen.

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.

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.