Remember the good ole days when you could send your child to the computer or television to play a video game instead of parenting as a reward for good behavior?
Well, straightforward video games just don’t exist anymore. You can’t just make a single purchase and let your children play until their eyes bleed for thirty minutes. Activision, Disney, Lego, and other video game companies have turned a simple babysitter activity into a parental torture system designed to steal our money, sanity, and souls.
If you haven’t heard of the “toys-to-life” fuckery phenomenon, here’s how it works. They hook your child with a starter pack that includes a portal that plugs into your video game console. Think of this like an IV bag for your child’s video game addiction. They provide the first few “hits” by supplying a couple of figures to place on the portal and “transport” into the game.
But the rest of the characters for the games are sold separately.
“Collect them all!” the marketing assholes types tout. They might as well have said, “Hook up your veins and bank accounts, kids, because you’re now our bitches.”
Those greedy corporate bastards won’t be satisfied until they’ve sucked every last penny out of our children’s college funds. Because there are FIVE FUCKING MILLION little figures. Each with unique abilities. And, of course, that one bad guy can only be killed by that one extremely rare figure—sending parents on sadistic and expensive scavenger hunts all over town.
So my son is basically an addict now. He doesn’t want all of those figures; he NEEDSALLTHEFIGURES. Completely obsessed with figure acquisition, he counts his dollars and the days until his next fix. He brags to his friends about his latest score. He meticulously tracks (using the poster the game companies have maliciously graciously included) every character he has bought and every character he still needs to collect.
Toys “R” Us is our new suburban drug store.
What happened to good ole Pong? That game was so much simpler. And there was so much less to talk about. Now, I am forced to endure insufferable conversations:
With my child: “Yes, that was quite an impressive fart out of StinkBomb.”
With the grandparents: “No, he’s not asking for an actual lightning rod. It’s the name of the character.”
(But we love the grandparents because they buy most of the figures.)
As long as I’m not holding back, here’s why I hate them the most. They’ve created a major storage problem in my house. The game pieces aren’t like building blocks—I can’t just dump them into one big bin. Careful placement of the game pieces must be taken. Otherwise I have to suffer through massive meltdowns, emergency repairs, and/or scouring the Internet for expensive replacements. My house is slowly turning into a plastic museum of horrors.
So basically, the game makers can all bite my ass. (Not in a good way.) I hate them all.
I just wish I had thought of it first.
Cover Photo Credit: sifotography / 123RF Stock Photo