I haven't blogged in a month, which is pretty poor even by my own shoddy standards. Of course, the golden rule of blogging dictates that talking about yourself is boring. So, rather than bore everyone with my time at sea battling pirates and writing the next great American novel only to have the only manuscript gobbled up by an angry school of porpoise, I'll talk about video games a little.
Specifically, the weird experience of paying to play video games on a television at a Washington D.C. hotel (the boat wouldn't bring me back down to the Gulf Coast and I had to make my own way). I walked into the room to see a Gamecube controller sitting in front of the television set, alongside a room services guide that rather amusingly touted the availability of "Playstation" games via the television's media menu. I took a moment to reflect on this pronounced example of irony, a Nintendo console being referred to using a standard cultural term "Playstation" when in my youth we would all go over to Chris' house to play "Nintendo" on his Commodore 64. I then realised, not for the first time, that I am a huge nerd.
Once I'd gotten over this minor post-modern experience, I got excited. Very excited, actually. I immediately turned on the TV and browsed past the standard offerings of movies, television shows you can see for free on Hulu, and pornography. Up to this point, I was still harbouring a concern that for some odd reason Embassy Suites expected me to play Playstation 2 games with a Gamecube controller. It turned out however, that they had practically every Gamecube game I ever played or even wanted to play. Including Geist.
I never played Geist when it came out, though the concept of possessing dudes and shooting other dudes has appealed to me since Messiah. The game eventually came out around the time I took the fateful step of buying an Xbox and thus owning two video game consoles simultaneously for the first time in my life. I played some Halo 2 and some Crimson Skies, but no Geist. Here it was, though: surely this was fate. The price read $6.95. I was stunned. I could finish Geist overnight. That wouldn't be a problem.
$6.95 an hour.
Now, I think it's very cool that you can play Nintendo Gamecube games on your TV in your own hotel room. I love the very impressive selection of games. I REALLY dig the fact that for some obscure reason the service offers Gamecube games, rather than Playstation 1 games or lame poker apps. And maybe I would have been able to live with paying seven dollars for an hour of Mario Kart: Double Dash or something. But at that price, I really don't know why they would even offer games like Geist, or even any of the RPGs on offer.
I did the mathematics. Geist is probably 4-5 hours long, maybe 6. So, we're talking at least $35 to play the game. In one sitting. Bathroom breaks would become frantic, phone calls would be ignored, meals skipped. No, sorry. Can't do it. I'm sure I could grab a copy of the game somewhere and play it on my Wii.
I still feel a bit silly talking about playing on my Wii.
So close to work travel heaven. It's lonely living out of a hotel for a week. If only they had a flat rate to use the Gamecube service per night. Travelling researcher: reads books in foreign languages by day, shoots dudes (aliens, when possible) by night!
Oh well. Next time.