Archoo thinks that life is a video game. I mean, quite literally, the boy runs around like a madman humming and singing theme songs to Mario Brothers (“Mommy, it’s ‘Mario BROS.'”) games or others that he’s heard, and when he’s really excited, he does the frantic tune that accompanies a super star. He has explained in detail to my mother that, when you run out of energy, you need to eat — ostensibly to instantaneously get more hearts or fill up your power bar. Sometimes, he goes on about hitting a checkpoint or getting a super combo. I suppose I should just be glad that he’s managed to figure out that there’s no cheat for unlimited lives in real life.
The thing is, though, that he hasn’t heard any of these things because HE plays video games. We have a Wii, and whenever he plays it, he gets quickly frustrated and bored. He’ll hand off the Wiimote to me or the Murse and become a video game cheerleader. I have to assume that it’s the same with the Xbox and his daddy’s house. He has access to a computer at both houses, and though he’ll play some games on PBS Kids, he’s more interested in watching other people play video games on YouTube — ALL the time. He talks about a few of the narrators by username, even, complete with random letters and numbers. He also has some other completely perplexing YouTube habits, but I think that’s fodder for another blog post entirely.
It’s weird to me that he can’t seem to enjoy something new without putting it in the context of a video game. I remember being very excited when I was his age to play the Nintendo Entertainment System for the first time, but I didn’t really like watching other people play. I would get really upset when I couldn’t put that rectangular controller in my own hands, and the boys with whom I shared the console would always say things like, “You can go after I die.” The rule was that we switched off every time someone died. . . Do you see how this was completely unfair? Third and sixth grade boys ruling the controller while two little five-year-olds couldn’t figure out how to jump across a single ditch. Hours I spent watching, and mere minutes I got the opportunity to play. Archoo doesn’t have to share, but he’d rather watch someone else play a video game than do it himself. It’s totally strange, in my opinion.
On the bright side, he does like to reenact some video games. He has some Angry Birds plush dolls that he likes to throw around, and that seems to be his favorite. He gets REALLY into it. You should see the YouTube video that he made. Have you ever seen an angrier black bird? ROFL! He also has some Super Mario BROS toys that his buddy Eli got him for his birthday. Luigi, unfortunately, is missing his head, but that doesn’t stop Archoo from holding conversations with him and his matching Mario counterpart. 🙂