I have been a happy Mac user for the past three and a half years. I still love the aluminum-silver casing of my PowerBook G4. I love saying, “Shh, it’s sleeping” to friends and pointing out the pulsing light that hearkens the slow, heavy breaths of a slumbering child. I like using key-strokes. I like not having viruses (digital or biological).
But, like my failed relationships of years gone by, there is always an inevitable, nagging problem.
In this instance, it’s a lack of palatable pre-loaded games. The PC’s got you here, Apple. I have whiled many a happy hour away with my WinBook or Dell Desktop to the simulated sounds of cards flipping and pinball machines clattering. I love that the little smiley face wears shades when you win at Mine Sweeper. Back in the Rattler Race era, I am not ashamed to say that I dominated to the detriment of my eight o’clock class: American Government.
What does this Mac-Oh-Ess-Ten, the tiger or the panther or something, offer me?
Be still, my palpitating heart.
It’s kind of fun to flip through the various style options for board and piece materials (Marble? Wood? Grass? That’s crazy!), but eventually, you have to play. I started on super dummy easy-time which felt a little like playing a chicken, such were the random, jerky movements of my digital opponent. While I enjoyed winning, I could almost hear the inner workings of my computer comment amongst themselves. “Oh, she’s playing on chicken-level. Bless her heart.”
I couldn’t handle that kind of patronization, and have since slid the blue dial away from “computer plays faster” and a little closer to “computer plays stronger.” The computer is still not playing at half-strength and I am losing consistently.
I’ve never been very good at chess. Occasionally, in a fit of father-daughter bonding I’ll sit down across the board from my dad. He tries to hide his glee at my obvious ineptitude, but it’s difficult to disguise the giggling.
“Are you sure you want your knight there, daughter?” he’ll choke over rising waves of mirth.
“Of course,” I posture, my eyes scanning the board for the hole I most certainly cut in my defensive line.
Then it’s bam, bam, bam, all my interesting pieces are gone and I’m left with my king and two pawns hobbling around the battlefield, while my dad slowly draws his rooks and bishops into a wolf pack for the Pinscher maneuver.
Chess: It’s like bleeding to death, but more boring.
Thanks Steve Jobs!