My addiction to calculator games

Meredith Cannon

I have a serious addiction. I find myself thinking about it constantly and craving it in class. There aren’t many girls with this addiction, yet here I am, living proof. You don’t have to worry, it’s not an addiction to anything illegal or banned. I suppose it’s banned sometimes, if the teacher doesn’t allow it.. but anyways, my serious addiction is to calculator games.

Admittedly, I used to make fun of kids who were hunched over in their desks, shielding their calculators from the class and playing constantly, but now I play whenever I can. I often adjust my schedule so I can get the most possible gaming time throughout the day, but during class is definitely the best time.

That fact that I’m a girl who suffers is even more embarrassing. Many of my conversations with the opposite sex revolve around calculator games. I also face a stereotype that since I’m a female, I must not be very good, but let me tell you, I hold the records for Falldown, Dodgeball, and Fast Tunnel. How many people do you know with those kind of statistics?

There are many others that have this very addiction, I’m sure of it. There are at least 7 of us in my history class who get to class before the bell rings, talk strategy, and play until Mrs. Stepchuk habitually tells us to put our calculators away so we can start class. Some of our conversations are about the most important tactics necessary in order to get a higher score in Phoenix, such as if buying shields will affect your score or how if money is a big factor. Stepchuk is actually very tolerant about it, permitting us to amuse ourselves with our calculators in our free time, with only a kind reminder that we could be using our time more productively.

Some of my favorite games include Falldown, Phoenix/APhoenix, Fast Tunnel, Dodgeball, Pong, and Snood. I’m probably the best at Falldown, considering I hold the record for it, then Fast Tunnel, but lately my game of choice has been Phoenix. Falldown was the first game I ever played, this was the moment I fell in love with my calculator. Whether it’s shooting up some bosses in Phoenix or venturing through a tunnel while trying to avoid the life ending darkness, it opened me up to a whole new world of possible amusement during class.

So this one time in math class, I had paid attention the whole time, but I still got in trouble for playing. We had extra time left in class so I pulled out my calculator to play some Phoenix for a solid ten minutes, but Ms. Goldberg saw me, made me stop, and proceeded to tell me a story I’ve heard countless times about this one girl whose calculator stopped working during a test, supposedly because of the games on it.

I understand that they wouldn’t like us to ruin our calculators, but I’m not too worried. If my calculator spontaneously explodes mid ACT, I’ll take the blame for that one.

I’m taking a major risk telling you about my secret gaming methods, but maybe someone will gain a few extra minutes of playing into their day. So, here we go. One of the best methods is sitting behind a tall kid and holding your calculator directly behind their body, shielding you from the teacher’s lurking eyes (it’s smart to play a game with minimal clicking noises just to be on the safe side).

Next, have a math worksheet out if your teacher gives you work time and doesn’t allow calculator games. If they’re sitting at their desk, this is definitely going to work. Another great option is just like getting away with texting. Either simply play with your hands under the desk, or put a backpack on top of the desk to shield the view. From most angles, a teacher isn’t going to notice.

There are many great excuses to use. One of my best was in Journalism class. I said I was writing about calculator games and had to do some “research” on a new game..pshh. Eventually, my intelligent teacher caught on and told me that I had done enough research and needed to start my story, nonetheless, I got some valuable game time in, completing six levels and setting myself up for a decently high score of 34,000 in Phoenix.