Game Diary - September 15, 2008: No Games In Canada

Surprise Sign (Click to Enlarge)

I wouldn't play any video games during my week-long vacation, and I didn't.

But sometimes video games -- or thoughts of video games-- can sneak up on you. They can find you even in faraway lands. They did last year when I was in a poor area of Guatemala and spotted an Xbox store. They did in 2004 when I was in remote Zanzibar during the release week of "Halo 2," which is set partially in Zanzibar.

Last week, however, video games were barely on my mind during my trip to Canada's Prince Edward Island. The only sign of them was the "Tetris" arcade machine that stood in the ferry my wife and I took to get to the island. Shockingly, I resisted the urge to play arcade "Tetris."

I returned home on Sunday and brought games back into my life. I briefly tried "Infinite Undiscovery" (not my kind of game), started "The Last Guy" (too blurry on my standard def TV), continued "Order Up" (I can't believe I'm enjoying this restaurant management mini-game sim), started "Blastworks" (interesting, but I need to try the user-created content before passing judgment) and then... I ... had a great time (???) playing the DS demo of "Air Traffic Chaos"? Yes. Somehow I did. "ATC" appears to be a plate-spinning strategy game in which you, the air traffic controller, direct planes to taxi, take-off, and land without any tragic collisions. The demo's good and available through the Wii's Nintendo Channel. This would have been a great -- or horrible -- game to have had with me on the flight to Canada.

And on the topic of surprises, the image for today's Diary entry depicts the first cool surprise of my trip. On the highway to the Prince Edward Island ferry, we drove past the halfway point between the Equator and the North Pole. I didn't even think there was a sign for that! There is.

Next: It may almost be fall, but somehow I'm caught up with all the games I have at home. I have no idea what I'll play tonight.