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Video games became a craze just before I entered my teens,
and few kids in Willingboro were welded to their Atari 2600 like I was. Space
Invaders, Asteroids, Warlords, Kaboom, Pitfall, I played them all for thousands
Even better was when I could finally persuade someone with a
car to take me to an arcade, where I could pour any money I happened to have
into a Tempest machine. Some people miss the lack of responsibility of
childhood, but I’ll take being able to go to an arcade without having to beg anytime.
Being a competitive sort even then, I would get my hands on
any strategy books I could find, hoping to get a little more playing time for
my quarter. And many of them were worth every penny. But even with the added
benefit of getting more value for your two bits, many of those books were just
enjoyable reads, if for no other reason than the “A-ha!” moments.
It would be nice to have strategy guides for lots of things
in life, wouldn’t it? I see lots of potential video games in the daily
tribulations we experience. Like getting from one end of a crowded mall to the
other in the shortest period of time. Or finding a reasonably fast route to
work that doesn’t involve construction, traffic, or potholes. Or getting all of
the supermarket items in your cart without having to double back.
If these things were popular video games, there would be a
market for strategy guides for them. And you could get better at it with less
practice and experimentation–not to mention time and money. (Those of you old
enough to remember, let’s face it, who found that secret message in Atari’s
“Adventure” cartridge without some outside help?)
A Ballpark E-Guide can be seen as a Strategy Guide for going
to a ballgame. Sure, you could learn many of these things on your own going to
enough games, and there may be some pleasure in discovering these things for
yourself. A ballpark isn’t a Rubik’s cube (there I go, living in the 80s
again!); learning how to go to a game and get the most enjoyment for the least
money doesn’t take supercharged intelligence. But like the cube, it’s a lot
easier with a book to guide the way! Even after hundreds of games of Tempest, I
still learned some things I didn’t know in the reading material that I
I’m not suggesting that by reading, say, the Fenway Park E-Guide,
that you will “solve” Fenway Park. But hopefully, like I did, you will enjoy it
more. Maybe learn something you didn’t know, or confirm something you thought
you knew. Or just have an “A-ha!” moment or two.
We all love going to ballgames just like we love playing on
the PlayStation. And we’re always being told to keep educating ourselves in
life; I don’t know about you, but I would rather learn about something fun! A Ballpark
E-Guide is almost infinitely cheaper than a college education.
And it’s just my opinion, but I think it’s worth more, too.