The last video game console we owned was the Atari 2600. Sure our friends had Colecovision and intellivision: But where are they now? I'll tell you where: Rehab and half-way houses. Seriously. They are. It's a sad story.
Anyway, we haven't been able to be bothered with such expensive mind-fucking things, especially when there's plenty of opportunities to play live backgammon on the internet 24/7, and even Zork and Oregon Trail. (Like my Oregon Trail character, I have in fact nearly died of dysentery many times...)
But I am intrigued that the new Microsoft Xbox360, which is the Tickle-Me-Elmo of this holiday season. One of the big criticisms of the machine is that it doesn’t have a lot of games. True, I’ve yet to see them release Combat, with its 27 variations of tank and airplane battles.
However, they do seem to have backgammon. And not just any backgammon: Hardwood Backgammon. Yes, now rather than BUY a hardwood backgammon board for $30 – or less if you live near the Lebanese part of town – You can spend $300 on an Xbox, which is sold out anyway, another $20 for the software, and then play it in the radiating glow of the Zenith after the Dumont network has gone off the air for the evening.
You seem to have to play on board some sort of sailing ship, and frankly, with a hardboard set, you’d better hope it’s clear sailing, or else your pieces will go all over the place. I can only assume that pirates play some role in this – why else be on the sea? And kids today love their pirates.