Sunday, February 10, 2008

crack the code



He chose the avatar on the left, he thinks it looks like him. When I tell him he looks more like Ben, he snorts. Ben "must be about six years old. At the most."

He writes down all his moves. The DS has got several computer characters you can pick from as opponents. 'Ben' is the one with the lowest rating. Green Raven is horrified that he even loses to Ben. "But how is that possible?!!" I exclaim in feigned horror, and he grins and says: "I must not be very good at chess". But this kid is not a quitter, and he is determined to get better. He has discovered that the computer always responds with the same moves if he plays the same ones. However, since he loses every game, that knowledge alone does not advance him much. Nevertheless he is convinced that the key to beating the computer is knowing what it will play before it does, and so he writes down his moves. Exasperated: "one little change and the whole series is different!". I tell him that chess is not like an adventure game that you can memorize the codes and find cheats for, but he won't let himself be convinced.

He earned this DS by letting me "squeeze" a dried out two year old pimple that he had been cherishing on his chin for far too long. Initially he had refused to let me touch it, because:

His class mate had had a pimple on his nose.
He and his mother had squeezed it.
Now he had five. Big ones.

Whenever I so much as pointed a finger at the pimple immediately he cupped his chin in one hand and with the other held me at bay at a safe distance. In two years his reflexes to this effect had grown to act so fast and efficient that he would probably still have the pimple at forty-five if I could not think of another way to get at it. Since violence was not getting me anywhere, I resorted to bribery. He fell for the Nintendo DS. He kept his word and his chin is now pimple-free.

A Ds is a Double Screen. When the DS arrived, it turned out to be a pair of DSses; there were two. I was very surprised because I am very sure I didn't order two or pay for two, but the second one comes in handy because they can connect by wireless which is much more fun if there is a pair of then than just one alone, just try. We enjoy the picture chat and we can play chess together. They are equipped with a little pen to write on the touch screen. One pen each, and two to spare. Or rather, I should say: they were. Because after three days, out of the four, we have one left. We lost three, without even leaving the house. That must be a record.


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