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It’s All Fun And Games, Until It’s Not

, , , , | Right | January 9, 2022

I’m fifteen, and I’m working in a small sideshow/amusement fair area part of a music venue. There are only three games and four rides, so when guests come in, we usually see them often that night, especially kids.

On a particularly quiet night, I was working a game where you’d catch a fish, and the higher the number on the bottom of the fish was, the bigger the prize. I had a pair of girls come through. They were about eleven or so and hung around my game for about half an hour. [Girl #1] was very nice. She paid for a few games and won herself a prize. [Girl #2], on the other hand, was an issue.

Girl #2: “Can I have a free game, since my friend is buying? I want to win something, too!”

Me: “No, sorry.”

Girl #2: *Jokingly.* “Can I come work with you and be paid in stuffed animals?”

Me: “Nope, sorry!”

She continuously pushed for free games and tried to come back behind the game where only the workers were allowed. When other guests would come through to play a game or two, she kept telling them to leave.

Girl #2: “It’s a scam! You can’t win anything unless you spend lots of money! And I know all the numbers.”

This wasn’t true.

When people would play, she’d flip the fish over and tell them the numbers. It was mostly lighthearted joking and doing no harm until the point where I had to PHYSICALLY remove her and block her from coming into my workspace, since she had snuck in while I was serving someone else and began messing with the prizes and money. That was the point that I snapped.

Me: “You are making my job hard, and if you don’t pull your head in, I’ll call security, who will have you and your family removed from the venue.”

The Old Familiar Game: Stupid Or Scammer?

, , , , , | Right | January 7, 2022

Client: “We’re a startup game company, and we need one character with thirty different eyes, thirty different mouths, thirty different hairstyles, and thirty different bodies for our game where the character can be customized.”

Me: “Okay, that’s technically thirty characters with each element drawn separately and/or in separate layers.”

I then give my rate for thirty characters.

Client: “Your profile says you charge [amount] for only one character. Please give us that rate since it’s only one character but he has thirty different mouths, eyes, hair, and bodies. So the price should be just for one character.”

What The H*** Are They Teaching Kids These Days?

, , , , | Friendly | December 19, 2021

I play a certain zombie-killing video game that’s a decade old but still crazy popular. While playing online with a bunch of others that I assume are in their early twenties, I mention that the map the characters are running through is cool and reminds me of the Circles of Hell in Dante’s Inferno.

The response?

“Never heard of that game.”

I had no comeback.

This Defeat Is Humiliating But Adorable

, , , , , , | Friendly | November 9, 2021

This was in the early 2000s when arcade games were still popular. I was touring in Japan and decided to stop into a large arcade. With this arcade, you had the option of paying money up front and having the credits added to a card as opposed to the old-fashioned method of stacking coins on the machine as you played. With each play, you simply swiped the card over a reader and it would add another credit for you to play.

I came upon the wildly popular Street Fighter game and noticed there were two of the same arcade cabinets positioned back to back, facing away from each other. A Japanese girl who looked to be between six and eight years old was kneeling on a chair and playing away at one of them. I took the game opposite from her, swiped my card, cracked my knuckles, and got ready to throw down.

I got practically MASSACRED to a point where it was nearly humiliating, considering the fact that I was usually untouchable at this game. I wondered out loud:

Me: “Do the Japanese put the difficulty level at nightmare level for their games? God Almighty!”

Ego got the better of me, and I swiped that card for game after game, determined that I wasn’t walking away until I could beat that thing. And game after game, I got absolutely demolished. My sister who was touring with me strolled past.

Sister: “Why do you look so pissed?”

Me: “The AI in this game is insane! Nothing like the version in America! It’s like it’s practically predicting my every move and has a counterattack for it. I can’t touch it!”

Finally, I ended up running out of money on my card, and I slammed my fist on the game cabinet, yelled a string of profanity, and began the loser’s walk of shame to the exit. As I was walking away, the little Japanese girl I mentioned stuck her tongue out at me. A small group of children who had since congregated around her began laughing.

That was when it occurred to me: all this time, I wasn’t playing against the arcade CPU. IT WAS HER! It was the first time in my life I’d ever had the urge to smack a kid!

I went back about two other times, and each time, when I was playing some other game, I would feel someone tap me on the waist and I would turn to see that little girl smiling sweetly at me, waggling her little fingers, and then pulling up a chair and swiping her card over the credit reader, ready to completely decimate me at whatever I was playing. And that she did without fail, while always gesturing for me to swipe my card so she could murder me again. And again. And again…

Best If You Button Your Lip

, , , , , , , , | Related | October 24, 2021

I went to Germany for work-related purposes and ended up falling in love with and marrying a girl who had a very charming eight-year-old daughter.

My birthday came along, and my wife bought me a Playstation 2. In this boxed set, it included a karaoke game and a pair of microphones. Upon my unwrapping of the gift, the little girl’s face lit up and she begged me to let her play with it. As it turned out, singing, dancing, and talent shows were her ultimate passion.

That child loved that karaoke game — to the point where I ironically ended up just putting the console in her room and even more ironically would have to ask her from time to time if I could play my game! Otherwise, you would constantly hear her (along with her cousin) singing her heart out all throughout the day. I bought her a few more karaoke-related games, and it made her all the happier.

One day, I was babysitting her and her cousin. They set up a little “talent show” in our living room and asked me to watch their performance. I gladly obliged.

With bright glowing smiles — and neither one of them understanding a single word of English — they started the song and began passionately performing The Pussycat Dolls’ “Buttons”. If you are not familiar with that song, Google the lyrics.

And then, picture two eight-year-old girls singing that in front of a grown man while he turns four shades of red and begs them to switch the track to something else. What made it even funnier was how mortified they looked when I ended up interrupting the performance, and when they asked, “Do we sound that bad?”