Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gameplay: It Happened Sooner Than I Thought It Would

I stayed home today with my daughter to have a Daddy-Daughter day with my little girl. She's three years old and will turn four at the end of July. Anyhow, I decided to take part of my time with her to play some games. Molly chose Pitch Car, as she has been somewhat obsessed with the game of late.

She hasn't gotten the knack of free-building tracks yet and when she tries she ends up placing turns so that they end up going into existing track and being unable to complete it. So, I let her choose which track diagram and I built it for her.

Daddy chose the yellow car and she picked the green car. An odd choice for her, as she usually will play pink. She gave me her car and asked me to put new tires on it. That is a ritual for us. I pretend to use a pneumatic lug nut socket drill and make the noises as if I am changing her four tires then hand the car back to her. We then set off.

We usually only go for one lap races with my daughter. She's gotten good enough that she could probably go for a standard three-lap race now, but she gets so excited about crossing the finish line, I think it would confuse her. Besides, we usually get in three one-lap races instead and I am content with that anyhow.

Anyhow, the race begins and from the onset I am plagued with problems. My car keeps jumping off the track and my daughter gets a good lead on me. Now that isn't what this is about. She's actually had a couple of legitimate wins on me already. She's gotten really good at Pitch Car and sometimes the luck of her flicks is just magical.

She rounds the final turn and if I'm lucky I'm a good three flicks behind her. It's her turn and she has a short straight away to the finish line and I'm sure she's going to pass it. But her flick is off and she barely budges. I get a good flick in and make up some of the distance, but she's still very much in the lead and only one flick away from winning.

She lines up her shot and her car barely moves again. Her finger barely hit it and she happily tells me it's my turn. I hit a good flick and make it around the bend and I'm on the last straight path to the finish line. But my daughter is still ahead of me and two inches away from the finish line. I'm feeling kind of proud that I at least closed this distance before my little girl beat me.

She lines up her shot and... her finger barely hits her car and it moves maybe a quarter inch to the side.

I'm feeling bad now since I came back and I'm set to steal a victory from my little three year old daughter. The Daddy in me takes over and I take pity on my little girl's string of bad flicks and I tell her, "You barely hit that one, Pixie. Why don't you try again?"

She shakes her head and tells me, "No, Daddy. I'm trying to lose. I want you to win because you crashed so much."

I was stunned. But what else could I do?

I lined up my shot and flicked across the finish line and my daughter cheered for me, "Yay! Daddy! I knew you could do it! You win!"

I smiled to her, proud of her sportsmanship and generosity, but also swallowing down the pride in the fact that a three year old girl threw a game for me to give me a pity win.

An old picture of Molly playing Pitch Car. One from the days when her Daddy was the one giving out pity wins.

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