I've never punched anyone in the face. I have likewise never been punched in the face. At nearly thirty-eight years old, I hope both are trends which continue.
I did, however, after many months and repeated efforts, beat Mike Tyson in the titular Mike Tyson's Punch-Out! for the Nintendo Entertainment System when I was ten years old. That game is hard, but never underestimate the tenacity of a video-game-addicted kid. I had fast fingers back then. And a lot of NES-controller-caused calluses. Price you pay to be the champ, man.
I don't even like boxing, but there's something about video game boxing that I enjoy. Perhaps it's the fulfillment of punching something incorporeal and not getting punched back, passively satisfying a more primal urge while ensuring bodily safety.
And that extends to other aspects of gaming, including shooting people, jumping on the heads of anthropomorphic mushrooms, and taking pills to chase away the ghosts that are haunting-hunting me.
It's all just a fantasy. And it's fun. Challenging and fun.
In 2001 I was living in Sinchon, Seoul. On Sunday afternoons, I sometimes ventured into the myriad coin-op video game arcades sprinkled within the neighborhood. Most of them had old, sit-down games like 1941, Tetris, Puzzle Bobble, and the like, which I had a lot of fun playing, but some of the larger arcades had more advanced (and more expensive) coin-op games.
One such game that I was particularly fond of, despite all the 500 won coins it took from me, was a motion-sensor game called Police 911. You had to duck and shit! I wasn't into Dance Dance Revolution, but being a Tokyo cop shooting at and ducking from Yakuza gunfire? Sign me up!
Motion-sensor technology has come a long way, I'm sure, since 2001. Comparing the Nintendo Wii remote to the sensing technology of Police 911 is maybe analogous to comparing a fire-breathing dragon to a skink. And the hardest thing to determine while playing a video game that you want to beat is whether the game is good but you're not good at it, or whether the game isn't very good and that's why you're not good at it.
After a particularly vexing game of Police 911, I took two steps over to a boxing game. After years of searching, I still haven't been able to remember the title, because every Google search of "Japanese arcade boxing game" results in those arcade cushion hardest-punch games or the one where cushions come at you from the side.
This game was motion-sensor. It had two "boxing gloves," connected to the machine, that the player wore which more resembled today's UFC fighting gloves. The opponents weren't memorable, or at least not as memorable as Bald Bull, Glass Joe, or Super Macho Man.
But you still had to duck and move. I played Mike Tyson's Punch-Out! a lot as a kid because, no matter how many times I was defeated, I could always -- often blowing on the cartridge -- start a new game. An arcade is different. Maybe other people want to play. Other people are watching you.
I beat the first two opponents. Then the game got much harder. I was ducking and weaving, trying to save my video game life. I won the third bout, but I was gassed in the next one. I was a lot stronger back then, but my ass was tired.
Instead of throwing in the towel, I started rotating my wrists rapidly with the gloves on. I'm sure motion-sensor technology has found ways to stop such a cheat, but not then. That was a lot less exhausting than punching at a pretend pugilist.
I beat the game, although not in a traditional manner. I cheated, yes, by exploiting a flaw in the system.
I won. EAF.
Patch it later. Or never. Like I fucking care.