It’s amusing to see the looks on kids’ faces and hear their comments when they see me waiting. It could be in the airport or on a plane, or the ophthalmologist’s waiting room, or just waiting for a friend. They don’t expect to see someone who could be their grandmother fervently playing with a Nintendo DS Lite, unless their grandmothers actually do play Nintendo.
As a virtual vegetable, I spend a lot of time on my DS. Since I have a problem falling asleep, I take the DS to bed with me (and my husband). Chip says “good night,” lays his head on his pillow and is instantly asleep. I find that maddening because I can’t do it. But that’s not what keeps me awake at night. Thinking about all the things that should be done or said or invented is my bogeyman. Those thoughts hide under the bed until the lights go out and I’m nice and comfy in my nest. Then — blam — they all crowd into my head at once, screaming and partying and begging for attention. I’ve found that playing with my DS allows me to concentrate on something that will keep those thought-monsters out, and I start to fall asleep while I’m playing. That’s when I celebrate lights out.
Mini-people walking around the screen killing each other does not appeal to me. Puzzles, word and card games, mahjong — that’s what I want. I have been hooked on Tetris since the original Nintendo game system came out, and had various versions of it for my GameBoy, GameBoy Color, GameBoy Advance SP, and Nintendo DS. I like variety though, so I can’t just play Tetris.
Two favorite games for my Nintendos have been Boggle and Dr. Mario. My copy of Boggle, which could not be played on the DS, wore out. There was a DS version but it’s no longer available. I lost my Nintendo Color Dr. Mario, and I don’t think it was ever produced for the DS, unless a conspiracy keeps it from me. Despite the fact that both of these games were timed games, my ideal game offers two features: it’s untimed and I can see it. Being able to see what’s happening on the screen isn’t always so easy for us “mature” adults (snicker, snicker). Time and astigmatism take care of that. Until a few months ago, the only mahjong game that I could actually play is Shanghai Pocket, a goofy little number for the Advance that can satisfy a mahjong jones. It’s not the greatest mahjong in the world, but I can see it. That makes it pretty great. Others that I have seen or read about don’t work for old eyes.