View Full Version : 75th birthday present--X-box

Zoom Rabbit
07-29-2003, 06:44 AM
My stepdad has Parkinson's disease. It's a neurological disorder that causes uncontrollable tremors at times, stiff immobility at others. He took very good care of himself all his life, and it's payed off--he fights the disease like a trooper, and even with his symptoms and despite being in his 70's manages to stay pretty active.

Unfortunately, a minor fender-bender proved that he can no longer drive safely. Since he and my mother live way out in the country, this means that I found myself moving 'back home' so to speak at the age of 35 in order to ensure that there would always be someone around to drive him in an emergency. Plus...he isn't as good at some of the physical chores around the property ;). I bought a 24-foot land yacht* (no one calls it a 'motorhome' in my presence) so I could have my own space away from the folks, and naturally my Nintendo 64 game system went out there along with my teevee and whatnot.

As I spent time with my stepdad, I noticed that he was interested in games on the computer. Whenever I came into the house, he was playing chess or solitaire, and one day I showed him the 'X-wing vs. TIE Fighter' game on my computer. To my surprise, he enjoyed flying in the custom dogfight mission, although he never played it again because it was 'too hard to get set up.'

On a hunch, I brought my Nintendo 64 down from the land yacht and set it up in their living room. I showed him 'Pilot Wings' (a flight sim) and 'Podracers,' both of which he took to immediately! :D Over the last month now, he's been spending several hours a day on it.

Now, of course the Parkinson's disease makes it hard for him to control the game. But he keeps plugging away at it, and because it's a videogame he can pretty much crash as many times as he wants. ;) The other day he mentioned that it 'seems to help' him control his tremors! I'm no scientist, but to me this suggests that the kind of eye to hand coordination that the videogame develops just may be therapeutic for a Parkinson's patient...

Anyway. Today was his birthday, and my mother got him a brand new X-box for his 75th birthday. :D I got him five games.

--Okay, four. :rolleyes: 'Star Wars: Starfighter' was really for me.


* I named my land yacht Tantive III in proper Star Wars fan style.

07-29-2003, 06:58 AM
It sucks that he has Parkinsons, but its cool that you moved in with him(kinda) to help him. Its even cooler that hes 75 and playing games. Go figure. And its even cooler yet that he's getting atleast a lil better. Koodos.

07-29-2003, 07:01 AM
Yeah my grandfather bought a PS2 just for him and his racing games. Pretty good at it although my little 10 year old cousin can still beat him but I cannot. He cannot do much since he is older so when there is time to kill he loads that sucker up and does some ATV racing or some other game where cars can run fast in circles.


07-29-2003, 01:16 PM
You the man Zoom :D

Wish him Happy Birthday from the Swamp!
:) B.

07-29-2003, 01:29 PM
Wish him a happy birthday for us. ;)

I can't blame you for buying Starfighter for yourself :D. Anyways, its goiod to hear hes doing okay, too. :)

07-29-2003, 01:48 PM
That's great what you are doing for your dad, ZoomRabbit. You have my congratulations and admiration. ;) :) I'll be praying for your dad, so he will get better. :D

07-29-2003, 02:51 PM
Yeah, you'd be surprised. All kinds of elderly people like to play video games. Back in the day when my grandpa was still alive he used to play Nintendo every night (that was the newest video game console back then). He'd sit there plugging away at Mario Bros. and Tetris.

He died at 50 of luchemia. He never let that stop him from busting his ass at work. I guess he was in alot of pain, but it wasn't a disease that dangerously inhibited his ability to drive or work safely like something like parkinson's will do to ya. Seems everyone gets something when they get old, though. If I'm going to get anything, I hope I get tourett's (sp?) syndrome. That way I can randomly yell out horrible curse words in the middle of a huge crowd and it'd be perfectly acceptable.

Zoom Rabbit
07-29-2003, 07:06 PM
I'm sorry to hear about your grandpa, Elegy. Fifty is...well, too young, IMHO. :(

I have Tourette's syondrome on the internet, but not in real life. :max: Hey, you! Yeah, you! BITE ME! BITE ME-EEE! Same to you, pal. :D Hee-hee.

Right now my stepdad is in the living room, playing 'Jetset Radio Future.' He's playing a punk street kid on rollerskates who goes around and sprays graffiti on walls while listening to techno funk music. :dozey: This is nuts...!

Last night I tried out Starfighter and got through the first five levels without failing a level. :p My mother was watching when I went through the 'N-1 proving grounds' level, and afterwards said, 'You passed the first time?'

I said: 'Of course I did. I'm Zoom F*cking Rabbit.' ;)

Ray Jones
07-29-2003, 07:32 PM
Originally posted by Zoom Rabbit
'Of course I did. I'm Zoom F*cking Rabbit.' ;)

haha.. :D you said THIS to your mum..??

*washes zooms mouth with curd soap*

now go and say happy birthday to your stepdad from me zoom..

my birthdaygametip for him is NOT a starwars game but its fun too

tony Hawks pro skater .. 2 is pure coolness but for xbox there is only part 4 .. hmm. i played it only 1 time on ps2 (coz i dont own one).. :D :D nice!!

i mean if one day .. maybe. perhabs. he doesnt *cough* wants to play a starwarsgame .. an alternative .. ;) ;)


ps. if wish all the best for your stepdad and he should keep on playing.. i think its good for him.
my grandpa got this desease too and hes dead now .. but its ok since he wasnt in good health at all..

07-29-2003, 10:15 PM
Well,.. I've always said that Starfighter was just way too easy. :dozey:

Get Jedi Knight II for the X-Box next. Or Halo...

Both my parents are in thier 70s...
My mom loves the little pinball game that came as a demo with Windows ME. I always have to make sure it gets installed on any computer she uses.
My dad is a bit of a Luddite... he won't even touch a CD player. Although he's coming around... he recently got a cell phone, and the last time I talked to him he was asking if they make machines where you can record directly off of cassettes onto CDs and vice versa. I think someone took some tapes of his and turned them into CDs and he was impressed with the results.

I can't imagine him ever trying to work a PC though... my stepmom maybe,.. but not him.

Zoom Rabbit
07-30-2003, 05:50 AM
My real dad (who lives in Colorado) has a computer that he will not get hooked up to the internet because he thinks it would be too much trouble. I told him 'No it isn't! Look, the phone cord goes in right here...' No sale, though. :rolleyes:

Ray: I'm old enough to say that in front of my mom. :D My apologies to all the kids who tried it today and got smacked.

Edlib: No it isn't! Jeez, I can barely control that freaking thing! Two joysticks to control, and the engines boost like big dogs...good thing it has such wunderbar shields. ;)

07-30-2003, 01:22 PM
Well, I played it on PC, with a proper joystick. :D
The later levels took me more than a try or 2 to get through, but like you, I sailed through all the early levels.
I finished the game in under a week, not even playing every day.
I was a bit disappointed... the X-Wing games used to take me weeks, sometimes months, to complete all the missions properly.

Skate Boy
07-30-2003, 02:02 PM
THat is so awsome.:D

My dad plays Galaxies almost as much as me.:D I found that a little weird.:D But if my grandpa started playing it would be very weird.:D

Zoom Rabbit
07-31-2003, 06:50 AM
It is most bizarre. On the Nintendo, he was getting pretty good at podracing! He tried the Pilot's Proving Grounds (first level) in Starfighter...and bounced around the canyon repeatedly. Wasn't pretty. ;) I showed him the controller options, where he could make the game more Parkinson's friendly by decreasing the stick sensitivity and study up on what the buttons did. I also pointed him to the space holographic dogfight level in the Bonus Missions file, so he could get used to the ship in space instead of in a narrow canyon.

Edlib: Yeah...it took me months to get through X-wing vs. TIE Fighter! Of course, there were a lot more missions, battles and whatnot stored on the game in PC format. Somehow I was expecting X-Box to keep the PC standard, with the Microsoft stamp on it. :rolleyes:

Further proof that Bill Gates is the Antichrist!

07-31-2003, 12:41 PM
My grand father has parkinsons too, but only in the right hand...

He likes to play computer games on my computer. Especilly "Midtown Madness" and "Need for Speed".
Maybe you have found the cure for parkinsons disease, Zoom!

07-31-2003, 04:55 PM
Wow, my grandfather doesn't even like movies, or fiction books that aren't classics.

08-01-2003, 10:53 AM
Hey, that's great Zoomy :D As B said you are the man :D

Makes me want to go out and get an xbox :D

08-01-2003, 11:37 AM
thou must get knights of the old republic or morrowind. :D

08-01-2003, 03:34 PM
Oh, I'll most definetly get KOTOR :D

Still waiting for that on PC.

Zoom Rabbit
08-01-2003, 08:45 PM
What I really want on X-box is a good, old-fashioned flight simulator! Anyone remember the old Nintendo game 'Pilot Wings?' If they had done a version of it on Gamecube, well...I'd be playing Gamecube. :rolleyes:

My stepdad really got into Pilot Wings, too. It's a shame there aren't any games like it on the newer systems. :(

08-01-2003, 08:51 PM
lucasarts is bringing out a wwii flight sim soon, secret weapons over normandy! :)

08-02-2003, 08:42 AM
That's being done by lucasarts? Dang I never knew that. It must be good then ;)

08-02-2003, 08:48 AM
Check out the first in that series, Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe...