You non-techy, video game haters are just going to have to trust me…this post really does wind back to my 2013 goal of moving more. Stick with me.
Ever since Mario bounced on that first magic mushroom, I’ve loved video games. I am a bit of a geek. Not to the Uber Dork level of Tron Man here, but still a geek.
Ms. Pacman was my first pixelated gal pal. Back in the day when Atari ruled the world, however, video games were for boys…not girls – so it was my little brother who got the Atari for Christmas. (He cried like a pussy when he got it, by the way. I still tease him.) I think I got a sweater or something equally cool that year. Not!
Even when I was all grown up with my own job and everything, I saved up to buy a Nintendo gaming system. I still get a warm and fuzzy feeling whenever I see one of those game controllers. I spent so many hours earning coins and badges and leveling up in so many different games. It was a fun distraction from the drudge of the everyday for me – back in a time when I was overwhelmed by the emotional damage The King had caused. After working a full time job, taking classes at the local college, and hashing out my problems with a therapist, it was welcome and much needed down time.
Then computer games came out. Technology was starting to compound on itself and there was more and more fun to be had. I still remember playing DOOM on our first home computer. It scared the crap out of me. All the demons and monsters, their guts exploding everywhere. So gross and so terrifying. And then my brother got an addition to it that made the halls of hell look like the ship in the second Aliens movie…and changed the demons to those hideous monsters that terrorized poor Sigourney Weaver. I remember playing late into the night, hunched over our giant computer monitor (some of you will remember when computer monitors weighed 100 pounds and generated enough heat to fry an egg). I would wear headphones so Mom didn’t get upset about the sounds of my awesome alien blaster gun at 1 am, but the problem was I would be so engrossed in what I was doing that I didn’t notice anything else.
So there I was one night, hunched over the computer with my headphones on, slowly walking down the hall of this space ship…looking for aliens on the motion detector. I could hear one breathing close by and it was such a creepy feeling (if you’ve ever seen those movies, you’ll understand). I didn’t even notice my brother’s headlights in the window when he pulled into the driveway and, as I carefully moved my character forward down the hallway, my brother crept into the room…came up behind me…and poked me in the ribs.
I nearly peed all over myself. I definitely screamed. Our mom bolted out of her bedroom yelling at us, but we were already laughing. We apologized profusely, of course…and after the initial scare, I’m sure she had a chuckle on her way back to her bedroom.
More computer games followed after that – even after I got my first apartment. Sure, I went out with my girlfriends and had a social life…but there was always room for pixelated fun…which led to a second, pixelated social life. Back when we were just good friends, Hot Mess Hubby talked me into buying one of the first really great online games: Asheron’s Call. All the other characters running around the make believe world of Dereth were actually other human beings who were sitting at their computers in their homes…doing the same lame shit we were doing: playing a game. I was in awe. Playing computer games AND chatting with people? Hell yeah!
Many times you couldn’t get a task done without help, so you would have to team up with other people on the internet to take down a bad guy…and afterwards there would be chat conversations that ensued.
“I’m in California, where are you from?”
“I need the Monkey Island quest, do you? Can you help me later tonight because I have to go to work right now.”
“Oh really? What kind of job do you have?”
I know it probably seems incredibly lame to those of you who would never play such games (and technically you’re right), but I made friendships back in those early days that I treasure even now. Hubby and I have actually met several online friends from that game in person as they’ve visited the DFW area for one reason or another. Do I need to spend any more time convincing you of my geekness? I hope not.
Gaming is a fun escape for both hubby and me, although I no longer play like I used to. I honor my adult responsibilities first…unlike some people around here. Personally, I find it difficult to relax and enjoy my time if every dish in the house is dirty and the carpet has chunks on it…but that’s just me. Not so much for the hubby. I once came home from a weekend trip and found him eating soup from the gravy boat while he played on the Playstation, the sink and counters piled high with dishes that were not as important as completing the next mission on Call of Duty.
Don’t get me started.
I also love social media (if you’ve LIKEd my Facebook fan page and you see the crap I put up there every day, you already know this). Foursquare is fun as well because I get coupons and rewards for shopping and eating out…and I earn badges. Oh, I love to earn badges! I have no idea why, but I do. Something in my psyche is hard coded to respond to this kind of meaningless crap. Instead of trying to “fix” it, I’m just going to embrace it.
When Little Big Planet came out for Playstation 3, Hot Mess Hubby would tease me relentlessly because allegedly I had a “dopey smile” on my face every time I played. (I still insist it’s my “game face” and not just a regular dopey smile.) I really loved making Sack Boy run and jump through the make believe world of Little Big Planet, earning amazing goodies and prizes as I went through each level. Seriously, that’s what they’re called in Little Big Planet. Doesn’t that sound like so much fun? Who doesn’t love goodies and prizes?
In yesterday’s blog, I shared with you that 2013 is going to be the year that I move more and tackle my exercise demons. As always, my process involves me doing this my way. I hate gyms, so that’s not an option. In fact, anything that requires me to drive to it…ain’t gonna happen. I’m too good at talking myself out of it and it’s just not a battle I’m going to fight with myself right now. I feel confident that things will change later.
Jazzercise and Zumba are also not options for me at this time. I would love to go bike riding, but I fear that any bike I buy will have to come with a discount card to a local proctologist so that I can have the seat removed from my ass when I’m done with my ride for the day. You’re welcome for that mental image, by the way.
I’m going to be creative about my exercise tasks in 2013 – especially in the beginning because mentally I’ll be screaming like a little baby every time I have to bend at the waist. I hate exercise. What I need is something fun and distracting to get me through the beginning until it becomes more of a habit. I need social media. I need to earn pixelated badges that ultimately mean nothing but put a smile on my face nonetheless. I need to level up. I need quests and challenges – especially if I get more badges and trophies for completing them!
Fellow Hot Messes, I present to you….Fitocracy.
Fitocracy is an online social media platform centered around living a fit lifestyle…one in which you level up and earn badges for logging your healthy activities. WHAT??? Badges??? I am there!
I’ve been messing around with it for the past week or so and I have to tell you…it’s cute. And fun. It’s free to sign up and use…so there’s no financial burden. There is a paid membership available with a few extra benefits, but nothing that wow’d my pants off. (Unlimited work outs to save on your profile, etc.) At my fitness level, unlimited workouts don’t really concern me. I’d be ecstatic just making exercise a consistent habit, so let’s not get all fancy just yet.
A word: when you first sign up, Fitocracy takes the liberty of putting you in a few groups and giving you some friends so you’re not all lonely and loser-ish. One of the groups I was put in was for strength training/weight lifting enthusiasts…and when I logged in one day, I saw this comment by someone:
“Lost weight over the holiday…totally not happy about that, but what can I do?”
Yeah, I left that group with a quickness. I need to be around people I can relate to. But if they don’t hook you up with anyone, your “wall” is going to be blank…so they’re trying to help and I give them props for that. Click around and see what you like or don’t like…leave groups you’re not interested in and join the ones that tickle your fancy.
One of the coolest features? I was able to create a group for us!!! Hot Mess Princess fans UNITE!!! But first you have to sign up for your free account. If you can, please use the link below to join because guess what? I get a special badge for that! I also get a free month of Fitocracy “Hero”, which is their paid version…but honestly, I don’t see that it would be of much use to me. I just want the eff’in badge. Seriously. If you don’t want to click my link, then I’ll forgive you…and I still hope you come and play with us.
Here’s the link I would like you to click when you’re ready to join: Fitocracy
Clicking that link and joining will get me a fabulous HERO badge. Do it, do it!
Once you’re signed up then go ahead and join the Hot Mess Princess group here: Hot Mess Princess Blog Fans
Once you’re all done, comment here with your user name so that the friend requests can start flying. My user name is, of course, HotMessPrincess. No spaces.
Members can start duels with each other and we can have group challenges. This actually sounds fun to me…and I hope it sounds fun to you. I’m really looking forward to using Fitocracy to motivate myself AND you to move more. I hope this turns out to be as much fun as it seems! Come play with me!!
Now…want to see what a Fitbit is like? Watch for tomorrow’s post. I bought mine today and I’m test driving it now! So far, I’ve climbed the world’s tallest pencil.
I’ll explain tomorrow.
The picture below is a little something sweet to end my geek sermon with…back before Hot Mess Hubby and I were married, he gave this item to me in the first game we ever played together. It was a time in his life when he was wondering whether he should stop procrastinating and just ask me out. One of his rare romantic moments. Sometimes pixelated moments are precious too.