A Galaga Havelka

I enjoy painting. I think I’m okay at it. I found that over the past couple of days I dove into my art for hours on end. I only noticed how much time was spent because I would suddenly be hungry.

The other day, my inspiration was an old painting I remembered from my childhood. Read about it here: Shelley. When I posted the image on Instagram my sister thought it was the original painting. (Just a side note: I am in no way trying to plagiarize the original art style for any type of profit. I just really wanted to recreate a memory.)

Yesterday, I finished a completely different piece. It was inspired by my poem I shared the other day, Machine and the original marquee for Galaga/Galaxian artwork. I have always been fascinated with the late 70’s/early 80’s arcade artwork. Something about the artistic styling being more lively and vivid then the pixelated games themselves. As if your imagination was needed to make those dots come to life.

I’d like to start on another piece. But I don’t really know what to do. I will just have to wait for inspiration to hit me. Like when one of the space invaders from Galaxian destroys my ship in an endless battle.

Machine.

In the dew soaked dawn

Grass stretched on for miles and miles

The life of the world was starting a new day.

The rebirth had begun… again.

From the dirt, the insects crawled out.

From the trees, the birds came to feast.

From the building came a machine:

Pushed by men

A box of wires and buttons invaded the earth.

Cabinetry of exquisite art and form;

Brought forth a new sense to the field,

Nature was no longer alone.

The men left the machine to stand tall in the grass.

It stood high on the plains.

Tall and proud as it once was,

A former God clearly visible on all sides…

Men had devoted endless hours to it.

These fields had become forgotten in the years past.

But the earth knew that the men would return.

The brief fling with the machine had taken its toll.

Man was becoming poor as his focus changed.

Until one day it all ended.

The machine, like so many others, had been cast aside.

Some men found homes for similar machines.

The machines were stored away in basements,

Hidden from their families; but still shown to close friends.

The hums and tones emanating into the dungeons that were now home,

As the lights shone forth from the device to mesmerize…

Forgotten, was it all.

The memories, the mistakes, the pastimes…

The last of the heroes to man,

Had been dragged to its final resting place.

There alone in the blazing sun,

Its circuits, wires and lights to die off.

No protection from the sun, the rain, the snow.

Never to be played again.

Through the songs of the insects and birds,

The field breathed a sigh of relief.

Never again would man enjoy

Galaga.

Taiko No Tatsujin

We picked up the Nintendo Switch this past Christmas for the family. Originally we weren’t planning on buying it. There was just a handful of games that we thought to be worthwhile. That is until we heard in the fall that a favorite game was coming available.

Taiko no Tatsujin

Drum ‘n’ Fun!

This game is so fast and has some great songs. Mind you most of the songs are from anime or video games. But ones that we recognize at the same time. We love the game because it reminds us of our trip to Japan.

One of our Days in Japan was spent wandering around the various arcades. This is where we discovered the “Table Flip” game, the “Drum ‘N’ Fun” game and many crane games. The joy our children experienced playing these games made us desperately want to recreate it. We even tried to pick up a Nintendo 3DS version of the game while in Tokyo, but it wouldn’t work on our North American systems.

Now that we have it in our home, we love to play it. My arms are getting a great workout as I try and keep up with the beats to the drum. On the easy level.

I was online the other day and stumbled across this video of one of the songs being played on a real drum kit. Just look at the joy about halfway through.

Check out the video: Drum!

I almost want to get the “Drum” controller for our system to add to the realism. Hey honey! My birthday is coming up soon…

Button Mashing

I will be the first to admit- I suck at most videogames.  I love playing them.  I rarely win.  Put me in a First Person Shooter, and after a few moments, I’m usually the bait.  Probably because I run full force into the middle of the game, guns blazing and not aiming at anything but the ground.  Playing a racing game, and my thumb is on the gas the entire time.  I often can’t judge the upcoming turns and end up off the track.  Add weapons into the game?  Chances are I’ll blow myself up.  Fighting game?  Hahahaha.  I button mash with the best of them.  When my daughter was aged four, she could beat me at my Mortal Kombat 4 upright arcade game.

 

Check out those graphics!

 
I generally succeed at puzzle games.  Tetris, or gem matching style, even Pacman and side scrolling Mario Bros is more my forté. Maybe it’s the 8Bit simplicity.  Maybe I just never matured in my gaming.  Maybe I can focus on the repetition easier than figuring out the next move.  Maybe it’s the pretty colors.

I began playing videogames in 1981.  I was five and played my first arcade game.  I was visiting my mother’s friend for a weekend and we went to get a pizza.  As we picked up the pizza, there was a lone arcade game near the front door.  I was awestruck by the colors, lights and sounds being emitted.  She saw my interest and gave me a quarter to play my very first Pacman.  Later that year, my family received our first home gaming system- The Intellivision.  Since then, I’ve kept up with the newest systems, and the latest tech.  My family has far surpassed my skills at gaming.  But that’s ok, I enjoy watching them and hearing about the adventures they have.  My son loves talking videogames almost as much as playing them.

 

Tall guy in a virtual world.

 
This weekend, my kids and I have had a chance to experience VR.  The artificial worlds are fully immersive and bordering between cartoon and realism.  As I played around in this world, part of my mind knew there were strangers watching me wander around waving my arms and moving my head.  Gaming controls are no longer buttons, but your movements. Your goggles and headset block out sense of the real world.  I could easily spend hours immersed away from reality.  But as these VR games get more intricate, my button mashing skills won’t help me.

 

Next Gen Gamer.

 
I am at the point in my life that I may have to admit that it’s time to pass on the torch. The next generation gamer is my son. May he mash the buttons of VR and succeed.

Back to reality.