Back in the earlier years at work, we used to unwind after particularly heinous days with a little networked, first-person shoot-em-up battle in the form of a game called "Red Faction." It was always a nice feeling to decompress at the end of the day by killing all of your coworkers, if only virtually.
Well, the current gang at work has started up "the Faction" once again, and up until recently, I've been watching impotently from my telecommuting, TV prison. That is, until they sent me the CDs in the mail. Now... IT'S ON, ONCE AGAIN! (Though I basically still suck -- I just jump around and shoot shit until someone plasters my penetralia against the wall.)
So, I was embroiled in a game today, getting kill-ted a lot, when the kids got home from school. They usually come down to the basement to say "hi" on the days I'm not hanging with them, and today was no different. I figured that, since the basement door faces the back of my monitors, I could greet them while still fragging my co-workers.
Of course, Miss O bopped on over to my desk and came around to my side of the screens before I could quit out of the game. I was standing there, rail-gun in hand, with the gang blowing each other up around me. She said, "Hi, Daddy! What are you doing?"
I said, "I'm having a meeting."
She was silent for a moment and then said, "Why do you have a gun?"
Good question. At this point, Mr. Z had joined us and chimed in with a, "WHOA! COOL! What's that, Dad?!"
I had absolutely no response that could possibly explain anything, so I threw out the blanket, "Okay, guys. Go on upstairs and I'll be up in a little bit. Daddy's gotta finish his work. Okay, bye now." They trotted back upstairs but by then, frankly, my taste for blood had diminshed considerably. Nothing like kids to put a damper on mass killing.
The part that makes me feel like an asshole is that the old lady and I have made a HUGE stink about never buying or renting any video games for Mr. Z that have any violence in them whatsoever. And he's pretty cool with it, especially since we got him the greatest video game EVER, called "Animal Crossing."
I could probably start an entire blog devoted solely to "Animal Crossing," it's that incredible. It's basically a sim game, but it's really fucking cute. You have a character and you move into this little town and then you basically do... whatever. You can buy crap at the store to furnish your house, or you can go fishing, or you can dig shit up. It's endless and it's addictive as hell. I'm not going to explain it anymore -- it's just one of those games that's so cute you just want to fucking eat it.
Wait, what was I talking about? How the fuck did I get to "Animal Crossing" from "Red Faction"? Oh, uh, we don't allow violent games in the house. Right. And I felt bad that I was shooting people in front of my children. Check.
Basically, after I put the kids down tonight, I fired up "Animal Crossing" and did a little fishing to chill out. It's surprisingly more satisfying than getting killed multiple times by my co-workers. I caught a couple Red Snappers, a Knifejaw and some Cherry Salmon. Then Mr. Z came down to complain about his curtains blowing around, and busted me playing his game. Nailed again.
I look at it this way: at least when my kids bust me doing something all by my lonesome, I've got a video game controller in my hand. I'll bet a lot of dads get busted with a different kind of joystick in their hands, and that one you can't really explain away with "I'm having a meeting."