Tuesday, October 16, 2007

In which my credibility disappears like a bark in the wind

What do millions of pre-teen girls and I have in common besides, of course, our unsavory affection for Shia LaBeouf?

We play this:

Yes, I’m dead serious.

Before you judge me too harshly – and let’s face it, I deserve to be judged for this – let me explain. I’m terrible at video games. I mean, really bad. I lack the patience for RPGs. I can’t push more than two buttons at a time which means I can’t play any sports games except Wii Tennis and that just basically involves me waving my arms around. And while I enjoy shooting aliens as much as the next girl, I can’t play first-person shooters because I get motion sickness. Really. The one time I beat my husband at Capture the Flag in “Halo,” I had to lie down on the sofa until the nausea passed.

So you can see my gaming abilites are dodgy at best.

Here’s the other thing. I’ve always wanted a dog, but for various reasons, it’s just never happened and likely never will. For one thing, my cat would go all Predator on a dog and I’d likely just find a bloody collar hastily stuffed in the couch cushions while she whistled an unconvincingly innocent tune.

So when I saw Nintendogs, well, you can understand how one thing led to another. I rented it from Blockbuster this past weekend, suffering the snotty look of disapproval from the college kid behind the counter. I tried to come up with some feeble story about renting it for a non-existent niece but he had that “the lady doth protest too much” gaze going on and I knew he wasn’t buying it.

Anyway, once I got the game home and “purchased” my new Welsh Corgi and named her Waffles (after Diane Keaton’s dog in “Manhattan”), none of the shame seemed to matter anymore. At first, I felt a little ridiculous saying, “Waffles, come here” at the Nintendo DS. But when she came running up to me and put her perfectly-rendered little paws up on the screen and looked at me, oh man, I was a goner. I was making dinner with one hand and using the stylus to scratch her imaginary stomach with the other, and was shocked and utterly humiliated to hear myself cooing, “Who’s a cute little puppy? Who likes the tummy rubs? Who likes the tummy rubs?”

The game, as such, involves training the dog to obey your commands. But basically, I just spend hours playing fetch with it, blowing bubbles at it (which actually involves blowing at the screen and kinda freaks me out because I can’t quite understand how that would work and it seems like magic must be involved somehow), taking it for walks, and yes, scratching its tummy.

I feel like a total loser, but dear God, the dog is adorable. I’m going to have to buy this game because damn it, if loving Shia and Nintendogs is wrong, than I don’t want to be right!


Steve B said...

I can vouch that this is pretty much 100% accurate. It was sad to see our cat perched next to Liz last night wanting attention only to see Liz playing catch with her DS pooch and expressing admiration for the way the dog catches the ball and brings it back. I suspect that a cat whisperer may be in order soon.

Liz said...

Unless we can teach the cat to play with the DS. I think she'd enjoy Nintendogs, too!

Trey said...

Just teach your cat to play fetch. I'm serious - mine loves chasing large rubber bands and bringing them back to me in return for skritches.

Trey said...

I have to admit - that Corgi is terribly, terribly cute. I'm a sucker for Corgis, but still.

Does it have breed traits, like letting Corgis herd things? That would be an awesome advanced level feature.

Liz said...

I don't think it has specific traits but I haven't gotten that far into the game and it didn't come with instructions. But that would be a really cool idea.

My cat does a pretty good job of pretending to be a dog. She really likes to play ball and she chews on shoes. I love her enormously. It's just that sometimes I look at cute little dogs and my mind wanders. I feel like I'm cheating on her!

Mickie Poe said...

I thought you were being ridiculous until I saw that screen capture of the Corgi looking at me. OH MY GAWED I WANT TO PET BABY NOW!!

Liz said...

See?? Yes, they totally sprinkle those two-dimensional doggies with virtual crack cocaine. They are completely irresistible!!!

And you haven't even seen the perfectly rendered paw pads. I'm serious. The cuteness will BLOW YOUR MIND!!!

Anonymous said...

Truly hilarious Liz!

Thanks for making me chuckle this morning...


SFG said...

Credibility? A computer-generated dog is about as nerdy and girly as anything I can think of.