When you have brothers and sisters, you learn the harsh lessons of sharing early-on. One of the harshest wasn't fighting over a beloved toy or our parents' affections, but was much, much worse: having to trade off who got to pick the video game at the rental store. This is the ultimate test of patience and humility to an eleven-year-old kid.
It would have been tolerable if my little brother picked out any decent games, but he was constantly picking out the worst of the worst, despite my constant reminders about his track-record of terrible choices. I'm talking like Back to the Future 2 & 3 bad. Or some terrible racing game like Indy 500 where he'd get a couple laps in, get bored and abandon it before we even saw a checkered flag.
Of course, I always picked the good games that we could both play. But the younger ones never really appreciate these gestures and sacrifices until you're much older.
Sometimes picking a single player game was inevitable. With games like Mega Man and Prince of Persia, we'd invoke the "Die or Pass a Level" Rule. It's pretty self-explanatory: if you die or pass a level, it's the other person's turn. Simple, balanced, fair.
Nothing steamed my broccoli more than when I'd come back from a quick bathroom break (usually caused by chugging one too many Yoshi Berry sodas) only to see something was seriously wrong. I could have sworn we had eight guys left. Didn't we? How do we only have seven now? Oh what the
did he use one of the Energy Tanks I was saving for when it was my turn!?
He was notorious for breaking this most sacred of doctrines. And I couldn't complain to the 'rents; I could only grin and bear it or risk having our video game privileges revoked for the rest of the weekend.