Columnist Dusty Rickettes squares off against Father Time, and we know who's going to win that game.
Getting older sucks.
My back aches in the morning, I haven't been happy with my hairline in 15 years and my knees sound like Rice Krispies when I try to get up from squatting (they snap, crackle and pop). And just as bad, I think getting older is affecting my skills playing video games.
I grew up playing and beating challenging run-and-gun side scrollers like "Contra," could rescue Princess Toadstool no matter what castle she was in while playing "Super Mario Bros" and its sequels, and I single-handily defeated the Empire while playing through the "Super Star Wars" trilogy of games.
Online games were still a couple decades away when I started playing video games, but I still played multiplayer games with friends and family growing up and was definitely one of the best gamers in the neighborhood, unless we were playing "Tecmo Bowl."
In a lot of ways, games have gotten easier today. The days of having limited lives and having to start over at the beginning of a game if you lose them all are mostly done.
But going back and replaying these old games that I had mastered at one point in time is kind of depressing. I did beat "Super Star Wars" again a couple of years ago, but I seam to have lost my rhythm for playing the original "Super Mario Bros.," which is sad. I've been thinking about picking up the "Contra Anniversary Collection" for the Switch, but I'm afraid it would kick my butt.
I think my age really shows when I play online shooters, where I just don't have the reflexes of a younger player. I played a game of "Star Wars Battlefront 2" last week in which one player on the other team killed me five times in one match. They were jumping all over the place making it difficult for me to aim at them, but all that jumping and moving didn't seem to affect their aim at all. At the end of the match, they had racked up 110 kills. It takes me six or seven games to get that many kills.
Luckily, there are a lot of games to play that don't rely on those twitch reflexes. "Friday the 13th: The Game" is great for me. Even though it's played mostly online with other players, it's a slower pace than a shooter game and I'm able to plan out my strategy and implement that plan rather than just reacting to being shot at from all angles. And "Tetris" is ageless.
Dusty Ricketts is the editor of The Destin Log and The Walton Sun newspapers and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is currently playing "Star Wars Battlefront 2," "Friday the 13th: The Game" and "God of War." You can find him to play online through his PlayStation Network ID, DustRAG316.