We've been spending a lot of time with Melissa's kids, Kaleigh and Trevor, lately. Which is a good thing. They are endlessly adorable. They're enthralled by popcorn popping on the stovetop. They request chocolate milk in wine goblets. They compliment my eyebrows. I love them.
One consequence of all this time with them is that Matt remembered he has a PlayStation.
He bought it during college from one of his friends right before PlayStation 2 came out. He played it occasionally but never was that into it. Since we've been married I don't think he's pulled it out at all, until now.
He introduced Trevor to some Tony Hawk game while Kaleigh and I played tennis (and I use that term very loosely) in the back yard last weekend. In short order Trevor learned how to make his guy do a handstand and became addicted. Apparently that's all he's talked about since. To the extent that Melissa and Thomas developed a rewards system for him to accumulate points that eventually will add up to him getting a PlayStation of his own.
When I mentioned this to Matt he naturally started researching. Turns out you can buy the original PlayStation plus all controls, an assortment of games and a memory card on eBay for about $25. Not bad compared to $600-plus for the newer versions. Matt also found out a local gaming store sells PlayStation games for less than $5 each.
(Now he not only is excited about putting together a great package deal for Trevor but about buying some cheap games for himself. He just spent a half-hour playing "Gran Turismo." The massive TV screen doesn't help matters.)
When Amanda and I were young someone gave us a hand-me-down ColecoVision system. Coleco preceded Atari, which preceded Nintendo, which was the height of gaming technology and coolness at the time, so we were considerably behind the times. Still, it was the only such system we ever had and we thought it was awesome. I still associate "Groove Is in the Heart" with playing "Frogger" on the Caleco. But I don't remember playing it so much after Santa Claus delivered a Nintendo to the Taylors next door.
Trevor's going to spend the next few weeks or months focused on being obedient, having a good attitude, eating all his dinner and cleaning his room, all in a quest for checks on his chart that will lead to a PlayStation. I wonder how long it will be before he realizes it's way outdated, and whether that will matter.