Tuesday, June 07, 2005

I Am A Goddamn Excellent Ms. Pacman Player

Now I'm not claiming to be the best Ms. Pacman player in town or anything. But if you just happen to walk by a Ms. Pacman machine while I'm workin' my magic, you'll have no choice but to surrender to my hypnotic skillz and join the crowd of amazed onlookers.

What can I say? It's a gift.

Actually, it's more than that. It's a need. A deep, animalistic urge. When I walk into a bar and there's a Ms. Pacman machine in the corner, I get all fidgety and annoyed until I can get my ass over to play it.

You see, somehow, in someway, Ms. Pacman successfully taps directly into the obsessive-compulsive, yearning-for-perfection center of my brain. And when that radiant, beautiful, seven-yellow-eighths of a circular female finds all that untapped energy, she channels it and hones it, guiding me to a new plane of self-actualization.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to playing Ms. Pacman. The first is to play for Points, and the second is to play for Levels. They’re two very different approaches, and those people who believe in some happy medium between the two are fooling themselves and should go home and shut off all the lights so they can try and stop thinking like idiots.

When given a power-pellet, adopters of the first, Point-hungry school immediately abandon everything to hunt down each and every vulnerable ghost in hopes of gathering the most points pac-humanly possible. And on top of that, they’re willing to risk their yellow heroine's life at the slightest glimpse of some stupid, bouncing cherries.

If you can’t tell, I happen to be a proud member of the second school. That is, I place all of my energy on clearing each level of pellets and power-pellets, and advancing as far into the game as possible. Quadrant by quadrant I clear each board, striving for a graceful efficiency in the face of adversity.

It's not that I don't want those delicious bouncing pretzels and bananas. I do. And God knows every gobbled down power-pellet makes me wanna kill each and every blue motherfucking ghost on the screen.

But it’s not supposed to be about that.

The second Ms. Pacman school is about will power and mental discipline. It's about staying focused, and confronting your own capacity for greed, head-on.

Keep your mind in the right place and celebrate the journey. Be thoroughly in the moment, while anticipating your path, and don't ever look back. For here in the second school, there are no regrets. Yes, you'll feel the urges just like everyone else, but if you wanna get to the red level, you need to let the pretzels go.

Still, it is called the second school for a reason. Most players unfortunately go for the Points, becoming addicted to the fleeting boosts of self-worth accompanying each piece of pixilated fruit. And though the game itself promotes it, such is a life of never-enough, of constantly looking up at their score, and seeing how dwarfed it is by that unattainable hi, just beside it.

In the end, the choice is our own, and for me the second path has payed off, albeit in unsuspecting ways. Each evening, while walking through my neighborhood and back to my apartment, I pass a local bar with a Ms. Pacman machine inside. I know her all too well, and she calls out to me, screams for me to come and play. And I know it would be great at first—fun, exciting—but I also know what’ll happen in the end. How I’ll just end up being that creepy guy who goes into the same bar every night to play Ms. Pacman for hours on end. So instead, with focus and composure, I remain true to my original path homeward, all thanks to the little Ms. Pacman I carry deep within myself.

For she is a yellow, and she is wise. But only for those who truly choose to listen.

11 comments:

Chris S. said...

So are you always up, shortly after midnight, thinking about Ms. Pacman? Admittedly, it's got to be frustrating that she's just beyond your (joystick) grasp.

Alex said...

"I Am A Goddamn Excellent Ms. Pacman Player," A Novel By Chris Principe

Anonymous said...

on behalf of Val, she challenges you to Ms PacMan....and she WILL beat you

xo,
dusty

Geoffrey said...

Holy snap! The pac-gauntlet is thrown...

Dad said...

I've seen Chris abandon his pursuit of pellets, quickly turn around and go for some delicious cherries.
SEEN it!

Cory_Nealy said...

No seriously, Val is like an idiot savant at ms. pacman. She will quite simply kick your ass.

christopher said...

Oh, it's on.

I deny none of Matt’s accusations. To truly appreciate the cherry’s allure, one must experience it first-hand.

I regret nothing. And I fear nothing.

It's on.

Anonymous said...

and i'm challenging you to a hugging contest*...(blush)

* points will be awarded based on length and hardness....hmmm, this doesn't sound like a hugging contest, at all

dusty

Alex said...

I challenge Dusty to an erection measuring contest!

Anonymous said...

it will need to take place immediately after the hug-off...assuming chris is any good.

d

Chris S. said...

Does Chris win a prize for writing a blog post whose comment total breaks the double-digit barrier? I think it should be some of those delicious, pixelated cherries.