Last week I blogged on my negative feelings toward violent video games, including zombie-killing sport; and my positive feelings about how much my very ethical son seems to enjoy these games. 

I concluded with the assertion that, in the interest of fairness, open-mindedness, and pleasing my child, I would indeed give zombie murder a whirl.  After all, as he tells me, “Zombies ARE already dead.”

So there you go.  And there I went.

Now, to report:

First I’d like to share the good things—and there were good things. 

My son was visibly excited to have his bah-humbug-ing mother next to him on the couch to “zom.”  He patiently, slowly, and repeatedly explained the nuts and bolts of zom-dom: how to hold the remote thingie, how to work the joystick, which buttons to press for this and that (things like jumping and firing and knifing, and I can’t recall the rest; actually I forgot the second he told me).  

He laughed with affection when I couldn’t figure out what I was looking at.  What kind of zombie apocalypse is this? I asked.  Everything is kind of gray and brown and muddy and hard to see!  Isn’t there a brighter screen?

No, he said.  The zombie apocalypse does NOT come in bright flowery colors.

I accepted the ugly scenery and tried to locate the zombies, as instructed.  But where were they?

That’s not a zombie, my son said.  You’re shooting at me.  Do I look like a zombie?

I wisely took the Fifth (I mean: How many days has he worn that shirt???). 

But seriously, the zombies were NOT easy to see.  To my surprise those un-dead creatures lurched out of nowhere and then spun off again before I could shoot them.  Or they shot at me in a splotch of red, meaning that the zombie did the dirty deed first.  

Oh.  Ouch. 

But why? I asked. 

Because you’re doing a bad job, my son said, ever so tactfully.  You have to look ahead of you!  You have to turn your head in the same direction you’re shooting!  You have to stay walking on the sidewalk, not lying down spinning and staring at the sky!  There are no zombies up there!

All right, geez.  Calm down.  Let’s not get dramatic.

Like the overly harassed teacher he was, he limited me to just a couple of buttons for orienting myself and shooting; forget the calisthenics. 

And then…and then…I actually shot a zombie! 

A few zombies, in fact.  Though mostly what I did was simply spy one staggering along before I spazed out in all directions and ended up with a killer case of vertigo.

My son said I broke records for poor marksmanship.  He also said he’d never seen such spastic zombie-killing before.  Nor had he ever known a grownup so easily amused and entertained—not by the zombies or the game, as it turns out, but by the utter lunacy of trying to clutch, jerk, and punch some life into the screen through that stupid contraption he made me hold.

In other words?  I’m bad at the violent video game thing anyway, so why fret over it? 

My son understands, I think.  He enjoyed the giggle-fest—and then he downloaded a modern version of that Stone-Age video game, PacMan.

I like PacMan.  I don’t mind eating dots. 

OK, I did have to be shown what to press in order to move around, and even reminded which creature was supposed to do the eating.  Truth be told, I got over-excited again when it was ghost-eating season.  So yes, yes, there was some uncoordinated ricocheting up and down aisles trying to catch those ghosts.

Sigh.  I’m even challenged at PacMan.

One other good thing to report, though.  Both my son and I had a whale of a time laughing at the untalented Mommy.  We had fun.  

And the most surprising conclusion? 

Well, the “killing zombies” part bothered me THE LEAST.  When I actually succeeded, which was rare, I was pretty darn thrilled with myself.  I didn’t care.  I was heartless.

What kind of social worker am I?




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