Ask Dayton 63 – The Games I Play
Dear Lord of the Univer… I mean Dayton,
I have to wonder, are you a Gamer? If so, are there any video games that hold a special place in your heart? Do you ever get really attached to a character within the game and maybe even shed a tear if that character doesn’t survive the story or is there a character you hate will all your being because of an action they did? Just curious.
I like games, but I don’t think I can call myself a “gamer,” let alone a “Gamer.” What kind of games do I like? All sorts of ‘em, really. Card and dice games, board games, and, yes, even the occasional video game. Hell, remember who you’re talking to, here. I’m the guy with a functional arcade game in his home office:
Being a parent of youngsters, I play a lot of games with the kids. We avail ourselves of the classics; you know, your basic Uno, Dominoes, Operation and Sorry! We’re also getting set to try Scrabble and Monopoly as the girls are learning to read and/or deal with money. In a fit of nerdity and thanks to my hetero lifemate, Kevin Dilmore, I sometimes pull out the board game edition of The Six Million Dollar Man he purchased at a con for me last year. That’s right, folks: pure 1970s cheesy goodness, complete with the little spinner dial and hokey POWER CARDS to fuel that bionic board game action.
I’ve also acquired a renewed interest in a favorite game from childhood: Battleship. No, not because of that shitty movie, but because I’ve recently learned that there’s a booze-related variant, BattleShots!
Years ago, I got into board games like Risk, Axis & Allies, and Shogun. I have fond memories of several Axis & Allies all-nighters played with friends in the barracks, augmented by cheap pizza and even cheaper beer. I tried role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons or FASA’s Star Trek, and more elaborate tabletop strategy games like Star Fleet Battles and Battletech. The problem with those games—for me, anyway—was that they took too damned long to “get ready to play.” I just wanted to roll some dice and blow up some shit, all right?
A lot of the games I’ve gotten into in recent years appeal to me because they don’t take too long to play, and I can stick them in my backpack when I travel. Zombie Dice, Martian Dice, and Grave Robbers From Outer Space in particular are fun because they travel light, play fast, and don’t have a lot of stuff. They make for great bar games at cons, and…indeed…the addition of alcohol can enhance the game results. That, or it’ll at least let you quit giving a fuck when you’re getting your taint handed to you.
And, finally, there’s video games.
I don’t play video games like I used to. As a teenager in the early 80s, I had that “state of the art” Atari home console, and I dropped an assload of quarters into arcade machines all over Tampa. Tron, Gyruss, Defender, Zaxxon, and Star Trek like the one in the picture up above. As for home games, back in the day I was all over first-person shooters like Duke Nukem or Star Wars: Dark Forces. I still think Elite Force is one of the better Star Trek video games, because it found a way to marry a first-person shooter to a pretty decent Trekish storyline. Before that, I loved the Star Trek stuff Interplay put out in the 90s, 25th Anniversary and Judgment Rites. They were more “questy” than I usually like, but I made an exception, well, because Kirk and the gang, yo.
However, after yammering on here for five hundred and something words now, I get the sense that our wayward inquisitor might be interested in my feelings about Star Trek Online. After dropping eighty bucks to pre-order the “special collector’s edition” of the game, complete with book of artwork and fancy-schmancy delta shield pin, I’ve played the game exactly zero fucking times. In fact, I’ve never played any sort of MMORPG, so I have no thoughts on loathing or becoming too attached to a character within such a game setting. Well, I’d probably have my player persona travel to the Delta Quadrant and gut Neelix like a fish I don’t even want to eat. Can you do that in the game? Somebody should look into it.
As I’ve explained before: I don’t have the time to devote to such a game. I mean, there’s a reason I don’t have a game console in my home office or any games installed on my laptop. I don’t sleep now, as it is. If I started in on something like Star Trek Online, I’d give up hygiene and interacting with my kids. You’d find me on the couch with Cheetos in my hair and my floor littered with discarded Monster Energy Drink cans and Gamer Grub bags., along with the decomposing corpses of the pets I forgot to feed.
That, or I’d nod off between missions and the cat would eat my eyes.
So, let’s avoid that, shall we?
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go upstairs and let my five-year old kick my ass at Wii Bowling.
But, wait. There’s more.
He is the co-owner of Busy Little Beaver Productions and is the producer and co-host for G & T Show and Gates of Sto’vo’kor. He’s directed voice actors, and produced and edited audio podcasts and dramas because he doesn’t have the face for video. He plays well with others and is always on the look out for the next project, the next thing, the next next. If he wasn’t working on something with a half dozen other projects waiting in the wings, somebody please check to make sure he’s still breathing.
During the day, he’s a mild-mannered computer repair man who dabbles in web design in his small, rural, Central California community. He lives with his lovingly dysfunctional family and loyal canine companion and spends most of his time in the closet concocting some hair-brained scheme or another. He’s got an unhealthy obsession with Lego video games, Klingons, and Star Trek Online that borders on the neurotic.
Despite all this, he still finds the time to write the words. Find out what he's doing here.