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It’s funny to watch your anger at video games mature over time. When I was a kid, I would flip out at my Nintendo when I couldn’t beat a boss, if I had to repeat a level a million times or if that goddamn Duck Hunt dog laughed at me. There were no in-level saves back then. You had to do it perfectly the first time, or you did it again and again until you could.

That’s why the old Nintendo controllers were almost indestructible. You could slam them, bite them, or even jump up and down on them, and they still worked. Nintendo also had an old policy that if you mailed back your unit, they would replace it for a flat $40, no matter what was wrong with it. And in case you’re wondering, beating it with a hammer and setting it on fire was covered. I kid you not on that.

Now video games have gotten more technologically sophisticated, and they’re capable of pushing psychological buttons. I’m not insane, and I realize that these aren’t real people, but I’ll be damned if I don’t hold a grudge. One character pissed me off so bad yesterday I killed him, resurrected him, and then killed him again. If I could have gotten my little guy to piss on his corpse, I probably would have.

It’s nice to know some dork writing code in a cubicle somewhere actually understands how to motivate me more than my wife, parents and all past employers combined.

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