Empath's personal journal.
It has been a few years since Handy's invention called the window-vision was put in use with the discovery of the power crystal that could transmit images unto dozens of smaller crystals. While it was an innovative invention that this smurf wished to have experienced firsthand during its debut, it had the unfortunate side effect of making the Smurfs into what would be called "couch potatoes", paying more attention to what was going on on their window-vision screens than interacting with their fellow Smurfs outside their own houses. Another unfortunate thing about the invention was that it had made them sitting ducks for Gargamel when he had discovered his way into the Smurf Village through one of the crystals he had found. With the Smurfs he had captured along with the power crystal, his intention was to use his Smurf Smasher invention to pulverize them into dust. However, Papa Smurf and another Smurf who had escaped being captured caused Gargamel's invention to turn against its creator until it was destroyed along with the power crystal. Without the power crystal, the receiver crystals were rendered useless and thus ended the window-vision...for then.
Handy, however, was still tinkering with the receiving crystals to see if he could continue to use them for other similar inventions where images could be transmitted unto them by using a special box that was controlled through a magical wand-type device called a remote control. Just recently, his efforts have paid off through the debut of a new invention that would bring new life to the window-vision receiving crystals.
Every Smurf was gathered around inside Tapper's Tavern for the unveiling of Handy's new invention, which he had hooked up to the window-vision receiving crystal that Tapper still had in his tavern.
"Smurfs and Smurfettes, I introduce to you my latest and greatest invention that will make the once popular window-vision live again," Handy said as he stood next to the flat rectangular box that was his latest invention. "It is called the Game Wand."
"The Game Wand?!?" every Smurf said in unison.
"I hate the Game Wand," Grouchy said.
"Uh, what exactly is the Game Wand?" Clumsy asked.
Handy held up what looked like a remote control. "This, Clumsy, is the controller that lets you play games with the Game Wand. You can smurf it in your hand and swing it around, and it will pick up your motions as input. Or you can smurf it with both hands and use the direction pad and buttons. It's very simple to use once you know how to smurf the hang of it."
With the remote, Handy turned on the gaming unit, which then displayed a simple title screen WELCOME TO THE GAME WAND before a selection menu appeared: TENNIS, HOLE-IN-ONE, BOWLING, GOAL SHOT, and some other titles.
"Let's select something simple to play: Hole-In-One," Handy said, as he pointed the remote toward the window-vision screen, causing a pointer cursor to appear on the screen. He selected HOLE-IN-ONE, and soon a Smurf appeared on the screen holding what appeared to be a golf club in the position of a golfer ready to swing at the ball.
"Now you smurf the remote in your hands like you're going to smurf the hole-in-one club the same way that your player smurfs on the screen," Handy said as he demonstrated with the remote, holding it in both hands. He moved his hands to make a motion for a swing, and as he did, the Smurfs saw that the on-screen player did the same, swinging the club to drive the ball around the course until it landed close to where the cup was in the course.
The Smurfs ooohed and aaahed as they continued to watch Handy play the rest of that course as if he would be playing it on a real-life hole-in-one course, until finally with a gentle tap of the ball he got the ball straight into the cup.
"Amazing...simply amazing," Papa Smurf said.
"But is that the only game you can play on that thing?" Clumsy asked.
"That's just one game out of many, Clumsy," Handy said. And with some presses on his remote, he returned to the menu screen where he selected BOWLING. The Smurfs then saw a player holding a bowling ball in his hand. "In this game, you position the player to smurf to the left or right with the direction pad, then you press the button and swing the remote to smurf the ball down the lane like this." Handy then made a motion with the hand holding the remote as if he was going to roll the ball down the lane, and as he did, the player on the screen did the same, and the Smurfs saw the ball go down the lane and knock down several pins before the score was shown on the screen.
"Wow, now that's incredible," Harmony said.
"I don't get the point of this invention at all, Handy," Brainy said. "I mean, we already have the Imaginarium if we want to smurf games like this. Why would we need something that wouldn't let us smurf in the game itself?"
"This is just in case the Smurfs don't want to actually smurf in the game, Brainy," Handy responded. "Besides, there may be times when we won't have the Imaginarium in use because it needs repairs, so this may smurf us over in those times until the Imaginarium is back up and smurfing."
"I hate the Imaginarium not being up and smurfing," Grouchy said.
"So who wants to smurf this thing a try?" Handy asked, looking at the crowd as if hoping to find someone who would be willing to play with the new invention.
"Hey, I'd like to find out what games are on this thing," Snappy said, pushing through the crowd just to get his hands on the remote.
"Yeah, me too," Sassette said.
"This sure smurfs like a lot of fun," Slouchy said as the four Smurflings gathered around the window-vision with Snappy turning the controller this way and that to find out how to use it.
Handy laughed. "Well, it smurfs like I may have my first group of customers wanting to smurf the new Game Wand."
As the Smurfs continued to watch the Smurflings as they took turns playing with the new invention, trying out the various games that were on it, Empath and Polaris were privately talking to each other. "This one is curious to find out how long the Smurfs would be interested in this invention until it loses its novelty, Empath," Polaris said.
"Do you think it's not going to last among the Smurfs before they turn to something else, Polaris?" Empath asked.
"This one has observed from the short amount of time that this one has lived among your people that not all new inventions can continue to capture their interest, and that they eventually become just another item that collects dust in their collection of things," Polaris said.
"That's unfortunately true, Polaris," Empath said. "There's no guarantee of the Game Wand becoming so popular that every Smurf is going to want to play with it at all hours of the day. But that doesn't mean that it wasn't worth the effort Handy put into making the invention in the first place."
"If only more Smurfs would be interested in playing with the Psychelisphere, despite how difficult the game actually is among your kind, Empath," Polaris said with a hint of longing in his voice.
"This smurf has to admit, that it was rather fun to play and meditate with in Psychelia when we weren't always occupied with our lessons," Empath said.
Meanwhile, Tapper and Duncan McSmurf were busy talking to each other about the new invention. "I get a feeling in my smurf that this thing's going to get the laddies in your tavern smurfing it for all its worth, Tapper," Duncan said.
"I do worry that this may end up being just as addicting as all the other inventions that have smurfed our attention for our entertainment and that no Smurf would want to smurf with anyone else in the village, my friend," Tapper said.
"At least they won't be smurfing anything bad against each other while they're smurfing this thing, so it can't be all that bad, can it?" Duncan asked.
"We'll see how it smurfs, my fellow Duncan, and let Empath and Papa Smurf handle when it smurfs out of hand for our fellow Smurfs," Tapper said.
Smurfette was standing next to Hefty when they were watching the other Smurfs try out the Game Wand for themselves. "Doesn't that look exciting, Hefty?" Smurfette said. "I can only wonder how many types of games can be smurfed on it."
"Window vision games?" Hefty said. "That's not as exciting as actually smurfing a physical game like smurfball."
"Why does every game have to be a physical game in order to be exciting to you, Hefty?" Smurfette asked.
"At least physical games help smurf you into shape, Smurfette," Hefty said. "This is just going to smurf you into being a bunch of lazy Smurfs."
"Not if you're smurfing the Game Wand remote in your hand like you're smurfing a physical sport, Hefty," Smurfette said. "You're just jealous because you haven't smurfed up this new invention yourself."
Hefty snorted. "We'll see about that, Smurfette. We'll see."
The next day, the Smurfs were all gathered around inside the Smurf Village Stadium to watch two teams of Smurfs, one led by Hefty and another led by Handy, competing against each other in a new game called frisbee dodgeball, where instead of balls the two teams used frisbees to knock their opponents off the field, with one team scoring a point for removing all the members of the other team from the field.
Empath sat with Smurfette as they watched the heated match between the two teams. It came down to Hefty and Duncan facing off with each other with frisbees, the both of them expertly dodging or deflecting each other's attacks while launching one of their own against each other.
"This game smurfs just as brutal as regular dodgeball, Empath," Smurfette commented as she continued to watch.
"This smurf doesn't see how this game could be just as brutal to play as regular dodgeball, since they're only using lightweight frisbees instead of hard balls against each other, Smurfette," Empath said.
"That doesn't mean that they can't get hurt smurfing frisbees at each other, even as fast as Hefty and Duncan smurf them," Smurfette said.
"Hefty and Duncan are tough enough Smurfs that can handle the punishment that they can dish out toward each other, Smurfette," Empath said.
"I just wish that they didn't have to smurf at each other like this, even if Hefty calls Duncan Gutsy all the time," Smurfette said.
"Deep down they really care for each other, Smurfette," Empath said. "Even if one of them loses the match, they won't let such victories and losses get in the way of the friendship that they have together."
Soon the match ended as Hefty finally defeated Duncan and the scorekeeper Smurf gave Hefty's team one point. The Smurfs who were on Hefty's side cheered for his team's victory before both teams came back on the field in full force for the next match.
"Hey, Hefty, how did you smurf off that winning move of yours?" one Smurf asked.
"It's all in the wrist," Hefty said smugly while flexing his arm.
"It's too bad you weren't on the field trying to beat Hefty's team, Empath," Jokey said. "You'd smurf him something to worry about since you're able to smurf a frisbee with your mind and have it smurf as many opponents out as possible."
Empath laughed. "Not that the thought hasn't crossed this smurf's mind, Jokey, but that just wouldn't be fair if the other teammates weren't able to use the same trick because they lack this smurf's minds-eye powers."
"Who smurfed anything about it being fair, Empath?" Jokey said with a snicker. "I'd just want to see you smurfing against Hefty in a frisbee dodgeball match and let him try figuring out how to defeat you if he ever could."
"This smurf would rather try defeating Hefty in a Game Wand game if he would be willing to participate in playing one against this smurf sometime," Empath said.
"If only Handy could smurf up a game for the Game Wand that's similar to this game, then maybe Hefty can smurf you up for a challenge," Jokey said.
"As long as we don't have that imp called the Game Master smurfing us a visit with his Wizard Takes All game that he forced us to play," Smurfette said.
"This smurf has heard of his visit taking place less than a year before this smurf came home for good, Smurfette," Empath said. "Was he really that dangerous?"
"Considering that he through his game had captured the likes of Gargamel, I would have to say yes, Empath," Smurfette said. "He had forced us to play when he had smurfed the Smurflings into his game pieces for the board, and so Papa Smurf and those who were left in the village that day did our best to smurf the game according to his rules. It all smurfed down to Grouchy, who wasn't smurfing the best of luck winning any game that day, but when he remembered the basic rule of the game of 'wizard takes all', he used Papa Smurf, who was a wizard, to remove all the pieces from the board and smurfed everybody free from the Game Master's control."
Empath laughed. "This smurf could only wish to have been home at the time when this had happened. Although now it makes this smurf wonder what that imp is doing nowadays to entertain himself."
Inside a castle upon a high mountain, a young imp child is sitting in front of magic mirror with what appears to be a game controller in his hand, playing a game that was being displayed on his magic mirror.
"This Hex Box One has got the greatest games that have ever been created, and I finally get to play them right here at home," the young imp said. "It wasn't easy to convince my parents to get me this magic box game system, but the effort certainly paid off in the long run. Now I just have to be on my 'best behavior' whenever I go out with them in public to do their errands."
"Welcome to Gametron, rookie, where you will play before the evil Sarkamel in the Arena," the game announced. "Would you like to begin the first match of Frizbattle?"
"Bring it on...I'm ready to play," the young imp replied as he pressed the button on his controller and waited for the game to get ready.
Soon his on-screen character appeared in what seemed like a futuristic-looking arena, wearing battle armor with glowing blue lines and armed with a ring for a weapon. His opponent, who was dressed in similar armor with glowing orange lines and also armed with a ring, appeared on the far end of the arena.
"Ready...set...GO!" the game announcer spoke. And soon the orange warrior threw his ring toward the young imp's blue warrior, who then dodged the attack and launched one of his own toward the orange warrior.
"Come on, Blue Warrior, take him down!" the young imp shouted as he struggled to keep himself alive in the arena, dodging and blocking his opponent's attacks. Soon, the orange warrior was defeated, disappearing into a flash of light as the blue warrior's ring struck him down. "YES! That was round one! I did it!" he shouted in glee.
"You have defeated your first opponent...now get ready for the next," the game announcer said as another orange warrior appeared in the place of the previous one, looking tougher than his predecessor. "Ready...set...GO!"
The young imp struggled with his game controller to do the same thing to the next orange warrior that he did to the previous one, but that warrior was no pushover as he used attacks on the blue warrior that the young imp wasn't prepared for. This time, it was the blue warrior who vanished in a flash of light.
"Oh, too bad," the game announcer said. "Better luck next time."
"ARRRGGGGH, I can't stand it!" the young imp shouted in frustration. "How can I be beaten so easily in this game? Nobody defeats the great Game Master!"
"Atariendo, please keep it down up there," the voice of the young imp's mother spoke from the next room over. "Your father and I are trying to relax."
The young imp sighed, not liking that his parents could hear his outburst. "All right, Mother, I will," the imp called back. He then turned his attention back to the game. "If only I could live someplace where I can play my games in peace without my parents looking over my shoulder all the time. Now, let's see if I can improve my skills on this game, because it would be pretty embarrassing to call myself the Game Master if I'm not the master of another person's game."
Over the next several days, Tapper saw the Smurfs lining up to try playing the Game Wand in his tavern, keeping them busy well into closing time as they played the variety of games that were in the Game Wand's memory storage. In the meantime, he continued to wait upon his customers who asked for their drinks while they played the games.
During some of his off-time, when the tavern was closed, Tapper would try his hand playing some of the games, particularly the hole-in-one game where he could relax and putt some balls into the cup with his on-screen character.
Papa Smurf visited Tapper during one of his off-times. "I see that the Smurfs have been wanting to smurf with this new game invention for the past several days," he said. "That must keep you really busy every evening."
"I have to admit, Papa Smurf, that although it isn't the same as smurfing a game in the Imaginarium, that the Game Wand is rather entertaining, but I do wonder how long the Smurfs will continue to smurf with it before they get bored with it," Tapper said.
"You can't always predict the popularity of a new thing that smurfs along, Tapper," Papa Smurf said. "Sometimes fads like these just aren't meant to last, and sometimes they can become so popular that they end up being commonplace in our daily lives."
"It's probably a good thing that there's only one Game Wand in the village at this time, Papa Smurf," Tapper said. "If every Smurf smurfed their own Game Wand in their own houses, I don't think many Smurfs will be smurfing out very often except for their meals."
"I would certainly agree with you on that, Tapper," Papa Smurf said. "Would you mind if I smurfed some time with this Game Wand while the other Smurfs are busy?"
"By all means, Papa Smurf," Tapper said as he handed Papa Smurf the Game Wand remote controller.
Papa Smurf pointed the remote at the screen and selected HOLE-IN-ONE, which then produced the on-screen figure of a Smurf player ready to drive the ball across the course. He then held the controller as he would a hole-in-one club and then swung it as hard as he could to drive the ball. Unfortunately, the remote slipped out of Papa Smurf's hand and hit the window vision screen.
"Hmmm, this thing does have a tendency of smurfing out of a Smurf's grasp when it is in use, Tapper," Papa Smurf commented.
"That unfortunately happens, Papa Smurf, but at least the remote is as durable as the window vision screen," Tapper said. "I'll see if I can get Handy to smurf a handstrap onto the controller to keep that from smurfing often."
Papa Smurf chuckled. "It's a good thing that Handy smurfed thought into making the Game Wand controller tough enough to withstand abuse," he said as he picked up the controller and resumed playing.
After several more days, though, Tapper noticed that hardly any Smurf was interested in playing with the Game Wand anymore. Handy was bothered by the fact that his fellow Smurfs were quickly becoming bored with the games that were in its memory to play.
Handy sat at the counter drinking his sarsaparilla ale, looking rather forlorn. Empath decided to talk to Handy to find out what his problem was. "This smurf can sense heavy emotions coming from you from the moment you entered the tavern tonight, Handy," Empath said, trying to be as gentle as possible.
"How can I not feel this way, Empath, when Smurfs don't want to play with my new invention anymore?" Handy said. "Where exactly did I go wrong in smurfing it?"
"This smurf senses that you only had the best intentions when it came to building the Game Wand, Handy," Empath said. "But now you just don't know where to go from here when it comes to maintaining your fellow Smurfs' interest in the invention."
"They want more games for it, Empath, but smurfing up more games for the Game Wand takes time, and I'm not sure that I can smurf up with the demand for more games to play on it," Handy said.
"You're only one Smurf who is behind the genius of your invention, Handy," Empath said. "You can't expect to just come up with a masterpiece overnight, and neither can your fellow Smurfs expect a new good game to play in that same amount of time."
"I just wish I never smurfed up this new game invention at all if I knew how much work it would be to keep other Smurfs wanting to play it on a regular basis, Empath," Handy said.
"This smurf is certain you'll come up with something new for the Game Wand if you're willing to continue having faith in yourself, Handy," Empath said. "This smurf still thinks that it's a worthwhile entertainment device, even if it isn't as immersive to play with as the Imaginarium."
"Thanks for your smurf of confidence, Empath," Handy said, his mood not changing.
Tapper came by to see how Handy was doing. "It's such a shame that Handy's new invention isn't keeping the Smurfs' interest in it, my fellow Empath," Tapper said empathetically. "But being that I don't know how to smurf up a machine like that in the first place, I'm at a loss as far as what to smurf for him except to pray."
"You think that the Almighty might give Handy inspiration as far as how to create a new exciting game for the Game Wand, Tapper?" Empath asked.
"I believe that it's possible for the Almighty to smurf creative miracles for those who are willing to receive His help," Tapper said. "We've just got to smurf our faith in Him and not doubt that He can smurf the impossible in our lives when it smurfs like things are impossible."
Empath nodded. "You know the Almighty better than this smurf does, Tapper."