Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Parents Are Addicted To Video Games - How Did This Happen?

As a best-selling author and long-term supporter of literacy, not only am I an avid reader, but I am a person who enjoys recommending books I think my friends would enjoy. 

Though I love the feel and texture of bound books, I have come to also embrace the ease and accessibility of my e-readers (I have both an Amazon Kindle Fire and a Barnes & Noble Nook tablets).  This said, there is little I treasure more than my large and growing library collection of books.

My love of books and reading runs deep. I embrace the notion that a book is a free ticket to anywhere in the universe.  And so, as you may imagine, my life is filled with many adventures as I travel in the written words that my imagination fancifully embraces.

So over the past year, I thought that I would purchase my parents Kindle Fires.  At first I was unsure about getting my father a Kindle, but since my mother was an avid reader, I thought that she too would embrace the ease of using an e-reader as opposed to having to lug around her books.

With moderation in mind, I first purchased my mother a Kindle. 

And it was a giant hit.  My mother loves her Kindle.  She uses it to read, to check her email, to browse the news, and to sporadically connect with her friends on the social networks she belongs to.  She also loves doing something else with her Kindle . . .

Enter my father, who mind you, I purchased a Kindle after a short time of my mother receiving her Fire.  You see, it was only after about 3 weeks that my mother discovered that she enjoyed playing video games on her Kindle.

My father became curious, interested, and like my mother ... obsessed.

Seriously, my mother and father have become video game addicts.

Their primary game of choice?

Slotto Mania . . .

How bad is it?

Well, let me say this: every 2 or 4 hours  Slotto Mania gives away fictitious money to its players.  And if you miss the window to 'Collect Your Money', then you miss out on having additional money to play.   Now, fortunately, there is no real money involved, otherwise I would be real worried.

Nevertheless, my parents are very conscious to collect there money.  It's like they've become loan sharks making sure that the Kindle pays up . . .

So imagine, here are my two senior parents .... they're far from old .... and at midnight, one of them is up to make sure that they are collecting their Slotto Mania money.  Then, depending on if the 'Collect Your Money' notification is marked for 2 hours or 4 hours (it varies), the other one will be responsible for collecting their money at that time. 

Imagine you have the midnight shift, I'll take the 2 a.m. shift, and then you're on call for the 4 a.m. shift, etc.

Sure sounds like someone is taking care of  a newborn, but that can't be possible - my parents are or are approaching their 70's!

Now from what I understand, and what I have witnessed with my own eyes ... they play their video games for several hours during the day.  Now mind you, my parents are very active individuals ... I mean, very active.  Which makes it even that much more comical to know that during their downtime, they are playing video games.  And of course, getting up at 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. sure seems a bit obsessive.

I could only imagine what any parent would say to their young child if this type of behavior was exhibited.  But its not like I can ground my parents to take their Kindle away. 

And like children who first discover the wonderment of video games, my parents are beginning to branch out. 

I'm just waiting to walk into their house and see them playing Call Of Duty or Assassins Creed. 

As for using Kindle for what I hoped would be an enriching experience of reading, well, on occasion a book I recommend does get downloaded.  Thank God!

But in their senior years, and with Christmas approaching, my only question is do I purchase them a PlayStation, a Wii, or an Xbox?  In our home, we have all three - each has their merits.

So in case you're wondering what I will be doing this Saturday, I will be shopping for a video console and some games for my . . . mother and father!

As my soon-to-be 97 year old spectacular grandmother Ida has said to me often throughout my life, "Life is to mysterious to take is serious and if you do it will make you delirious."

Happy Holidays my friends,