Grand Theft El Cap

So, Grand Theft Auto (I believe the kids today call it GTA) 5 came with El Cap’s PlayStation 4, and today he decided to unwrap it and give it a shot.

It occurs to me that we are perhaps not the demographic Rockstar Games has in mind, but it’s their own fault for packaging the game for free with the PS4, especially when PS4 sells the really cool games, like Crimes and Punishments: Sherlock Holmes. Nevertheless, here we are, on our big comfy couch, me with my blog and El Cap with the controller.

The thing is, video games are still a new invention in El Cap’s world, and not less so in mine. I would be perfectly happy if I could have my Atari 5200 and Sega Genesis, and if any of you want to really make my Christmas, I would love an old table-top pizzeria Ms. Pac Man or an arcade Frogger. In fifth grade, my parents bought me an Atari and two things happened: My handwriting improved immeasurably (that’s a thing, y’all) and I fell in love with video games.

El Cap grew up before video games, and since adulthood has busied himself climbing various corporate ladders and doing really cool things he’ll almost never talk about with strangers (and so he’d be really pissed if I mentioned them here) instead of wasting precious hours on Sonic the Hedgehog and things like that. Now that he’s a boat captain with real days off, and now that our kitchen is almost done, he has time for things like kayaking and camping and video games.

I tell you all this so you can more full appreciate what is happening here right now.

After getting past the setup – PS4 controllers are a lot more complex than either Atari or Sega controllers – there’s the process of learning how to move around in the game.

Here’s a pro tip, Sony: The people with the money to buy your game systems? We all need glasses. Telling us what button to press in three-point type doesn’t help us. Seriously. We have a huge television and neither of us could read the instructions. We do, however, have Google, so as soon as we determine what the things are called (Hint: Not “joysticks” ) we then determine which buttons are which.

That’s when I realize you don’t really know someone until you put a video game in their hand. I fully expected El Cap would never open a game called “Grand Theft Auto”, much less want to play it after seeing the storyline. He enjoys shooting people (Cops! He’s shooting COPS, people! How is this the man I know?) way too much.

El Cap: *giggling*

Me: What?

El Cap: I wanted that guy to stay down, so I shot him a few more times.

Me: That guy – the one you shot in the balls – he’s a cop?

El Cap: *smiles* He kept moving.

Of course, there’s a learning curve. It took 20 minutes to make the first kill (much of which was me asking him to let me try and me killing my partner), and if you’d been walking by our window you would have heard things like:

El Cap: Can you read that? I can’t read that.


Me: Don’t worry, honey, you’ll get better at killing people.


El Cap: I didn’t fire! The gun just went off!

That one was my favorite.


We are officially The Olds.

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I write. I take pictures. I love my dog. I love Florida. My 2016 book, 'Backroads of Paradise' did really well for the publisher and now I feel a ridiculous amount of pressure to finish the second book.

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