After finally connecting my Wii to the internet thanks to my neighbors’ many open connections, I installed the Opera browser in hopes of watching television online. I know it sounds absurd paying five bucks and going through the complications of watching television online through the Wii which is already connected to my television set, but quite frankly Lost and Battle Star on on far too late. Besides I don’t mind the limited commercial interruptions and the streaming video quality seems better than broadcast; especially on the Sci-Fi channel, whose intrusive lower third advertisement interruptions force me to stop watching after ten minutes.
Only being able to buy Wii points in ten dollar increments I downloaded Super Mario Brother’s 3. There’s something quaint about playing an eighteen year old 8-bit game on a four hundred dollar system. What struck me as being odd though was my ability to pinpoint every hidden coin box, 1-up, and unseen enemy before they appeared on screen. I would naturally react in the platform world then ask myself, “how did I know that was there?” I already know the answer to this question. It is because imbedded deep in the psyche of my being there are hundreds of hours devoted to this game at a very impressionable age. Some how through nearly two decades of abuse and neglect my mind latches onto the insignificant world of plumbers, pipes, and man eating flowers. It made me wonder what else is locked away in there, especially with the effects of advertising. I remember hearing somewhere once that patients with Alzheimer’s will remember “pop pop fizz fizz oh what a relief it is” long after they’ve forgotten their children’s names.
Playing Super Mario Brothers 3, I also took the mandatory trip down memory lane that led to the eventual “Once in a Lifetime” moment of clarity. The kind of moment that made me remember seeing an old NES at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria nearly five years ago. The graphics on Mario 3 were astonishing to my grade school mind. I laughed at how dated the iPod tough interface will seem in nearly twenty years. Then I wondered how my son who is six years old would handle playing such a primitive game. He quickly mastered the 3-D world video games that I get lost and dizzy in. he doesn’t know anything else. It turns out that the 2D running platform game was more difficult for him and he couldn’t get past the third Goomba.