Monday, February 06, 2006

I'm a Tycoon

This weekend, I became a tycoon. Seriously. Because I, frankly, was too worn out to do anything else...including write. So, what else does one do when they don't want to do anything but become a tycoon?

Specifically, I built a highly successful amusement part. Two, actually. In one weekend. With my children watching. (They can really cheer me one when I have to dig a tunnel for a roller coaster.) Okay, okay. So it wasn't a real amusement park, but a virtual one on my laptop. Yes, folks, I'm a closet Roller Coaster Tycoon addict.

Not really an addict. I go through phases. When I first got the game, I couldn't stop playing it. My wife would come home from being out with friends and barely get a "Hi honey" out of me. She'd sit there, all lonely, staring at me, trying to tell me about her day, and I'd glance up and go "Uh huh" and "That's nice" and then she'd go "What did I just say?" and I'd go "Ummmm....."

But after the first couple of weeks, my love affair with the game died off, and it was only a very occasional thing. (No, really. I mean it.) This weekend, my love for it was re-ignited, and last night my wife was, again, trying to get me to actually look at her when she was talking to me.

There is something mind-numbing about the game. Okay, so it is technically a strategy game. Strategy games are supposed to make you think. But the kind of thinking Roller Coaster Tycoon makes me do is rather natural. Easy. You just kind of go with the flow, and you can veg-out much in the same way watching television does. Or used to before you had to flip through a hundred channels to find something worth watching, and well, television is just too interactive now for my tastes when you want to veg. (Hmm. When writing "veg", should you really spell it "vej" or, perhaps, "vegg"?)

I've almost got it out of my system now. Basically, I have one coaster to finish and then I'm done with the second park, and I can tuck away the CD-ROM for a few more months, or perhaps an upcoming boys night. My boys love the game as well, although mostly because they like to make roller coasters which crash and burn, killing dozens of people in one shot. They also like to put a sign up that prevents people from exiting the park, now that I think of it. Kind of sadistic, aren't they? I'm going to have to talk to them about that.

My wife will be happy to know it is almost out of my system as well. When she sees that game on my computer, she just rolls her eyes at me. Or, at least, I imagine she rolls her eyes at me, since I don't actually look up from the screen to see what she's doing. Frankly, most of the time, I don't even notice she's there at all, until she sits down and stares at me, wondering if I heard a word she just said. (I did hear it. Really. I just don't remember it beyond two seconds.)

Now I can move on to more important endeavors again. Back to writing, for example. After all, I owe you February's Story of the Month. Actually, I already wrote February's Story of the Month...but then I liked it enough that I have it circulating at a few publications looking for a home. So, that means I have to either write another one, or take a previously written short story and clean it up. Hopefully I'll have one ready by the fifteenth.

Anyhow, as I see it, playing Roller Coaster Tycoon this weekend was rather like a religious experience. And by that, I mean that after all the work God did to create the world, he spent day seven resting. Perhaps He, too, fired up the XBox Eternity. Okay, probably not. Still, this weekend was my "day of rest", of the mental variety. (I heard there was some big football game on this weekend as well...)


Kerri. said...

Building many raucous roller coasters, supplying countless food stands, and removing all the bathrooms suddenly? Fun times.

I, too, have experienced Roller Coaster Tycoonism.

RyanBruner said...

I can honestly say, I never considered doing that. Remove all the bathrooms, eh? Now you have me curious. What happens? And then what if you combine that with the sign that forbids the people from leaving? I imagine you would have a lot of unhappy people. Vandalism becomes rampant, and pretty soon you have a hostage situation...

Well, I'm not sure the game does that. But you still have me curious. :-)

Penny said...

My husband is hung up on some Star Wars RPG on the X box. It is very annoying. I feel for your wife. Also, my son has asked me if they have xboxes in heaven. I think he's decided if they don't, he doesn't care to go.