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!