Look at the blog, Larry. Just look at that blog.

This is gonna be about Band-Aids. It's pretty great.

Post #3. Go time levels have reached critical lows.

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Well, post #3 is here already. This time, I’ll be delving into an injury from my childhood. An injury I almost certainly put a Band-Aid on. Probably. Well, in reality there’s almost no way to verify if I actually used a Band-Aid or not. I was a kid, though. And this injury was hand-related. As in, a cut on my hand. So the chances are pretty high that I ended up using a Band-Aid for this particular injury.

And now, the set-up.

The injuries in life that have a lasting impression on us, the memories of pain, blood, and frustrated, frothing fury- they tap into a primal part of our subconscious. Some long-dormant feeling that leaves an imprint in our memories that can last for years. I’m talking, of course, about Mario Party for the Nintendo 64 game console. Any (and I mean ANY) rational person who played this game as a child knows what I mean. On the surface, it seems completely harmless to have your favorite Nintendo characters competing in an interactive board game with all sorts of zany twists and prizes. But there’s something menacing just below the surface. The game gives every player ample opportunities to screw his friends over in order to get the highest score and win the board game-y setting. But even that’s commonplace, to some extent, in video games. Except for one teensy tiny little detail.

Now, my memory’s just a little bit fuzzy, so I had to do a wee bit o’ research to gather up all the intricate details of Mario Party’s crushing grip on my fragile young psyche. So with the aid of Googling “Mario Party hand injury,” I can now give you, the reader, the full lowdown on what this game did to me. Basically, in the world of Mario Party, you maneuver around a giant board game mat, and after every turn all the players play a quick game-within-a-game (known as ‘mini-games’ to just about anyone who’s ever owned a Nintendo). But there’s one mini-game in particular that still haunts me to this day- “Pedal Power.” The name alone sends a slight chill down my spine.

The setup for “Pedal Power” is simple, for the most part. The player has to ride a bike that’s hooked up to a light bulb, and only by pedaling fast enough can the player create the energy required to light the bulb. Also, there’s a big angry ghost chasing you. And if you don’t light the bulb in time, the ghost eats you, or something. Doesn’t sound so bad, right? Well, that’s because I left out the most important part- the only way to pedal the bike is to move the joystick in circles as fast as possible. Now, the fastest way to move the joystick is to press the tip into your palm, and then rotate said joystick tip as fast as you can. Coincidentally, this is also the fastest way to tear a giant blistery gash into the palm of your hand. Did that stop me from pedaling that damn ghost-bike until pain throbbed from my fingertips to my elbow? Of course not. Did it stop any of my childhood friends who owned the same game from doing the same damn thing I did? Pretty big ‘no’ on that one, too.

And it’s not just me and the weirdos I knew growing up who suffered from this particular video game injury. There are whole internet communities based on this phenomenon. Nintendo even released a free glove to anyone who bought the game (several years after the fact, mind you) as a way of saying “we’re sorry about that scorched hole in your right palm.” While the intricacies of the game itself I didn’t remember so well (remember, I had to Google my way through this blog post), I can vividly remember fighting through some serious (for a kid, anyway) hand pain for the desperate glory of getting one more star point than my cousin. Totally worth it, by the way. Plus, if I won that extra star point, I could wear my Jurassic Park Band-Aid like a badge of honor. Which I probably did.


Written by mandudeman

February 2, 2011 at 7:40 am

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