Grab your guns, girls: Sega GameWorks (Auburn Hills, MI) lets ladies play free on Thursday nights! According to the web site, “GameWorks is the premier entertainment destination where people of all ages can eat, drink and gather together for a unique social experience around games.” They remind you of this constantly. This guy Mark Anthony walks around yelling: “GameWorks! The best place to drink, party and play!” Then he offers 2-hour game cards to anyone who can beat him at Indy 500 racing.

Paul Wong
Katie Mulcrone

My own “unique social experience around games” included having two eighteen-year-old boys make fun of the way I drive a pod racer: “Look, she”s not even using the turbo boost.” I ignored the little geeks, but they did give me an idea for this week”s prank. I loitered by the coveted “Jurassic Park” games until a guy went in to one of the booths alone. Jurassic Park is a two-player game, so the idea was to wait until he was doing well and then jump in as the second player. When he got to stage two I flung myself into the booth. “Hey, what”s up?” I slid my card through the reader and grabbed the second gun before he even had the chance to grunt in response. Then I fired five rounds into the ground.

“Whoa! Did you see that? I totally hit that big green one!”

He didn”t answer. The screen was urging me to reload, but I just randomly pointed the gun and fired instead. “I rule!”

“You have to reload! Reload!” Oh, he was not happy. There”s a status bar for each player at the top of the screen. My hits? Zero. But I kept being really obnoxious. I think I might have yelled “Boo ya!” at one point. As soon as his life meter ran down the guy jumped out of the booth. Ha. But here”s the best part: When the guy bailed my friend Katy jumped in and swiped her card and we beat the game! Sure, it took us about half an hour, but it”s a hard game.

After the dinosaur shooting I was too hungry to mess with anyone else, so we hit the bar. GameWorks serves all kinds of weird gaming-themed drinks but I just got a Coke. We ordered fries and got to pick two different dipping sauces. They had peanut oil, garlic aeoli, peppercorn ranch, hickory-smoked BBQ, spicy mayonnaise and, my favorite, ketchupeo (ketchup with jalpeo added). Very chic, of course, but what if you just want ketchup? (Please note: GameWorks does not have ketchup, not even green ketchup.)

After we ate we got in line for the Air Pirates game. This is a four player game where you get strapped into seats and then rise about twenty feet in the air in a virtual hot air balloon. The object of the game is to puncture the other players” balloons with spikes from your own balloon. Kind of hard to explain, really, but it”s easily the best game in the place and the line is usually pretty long. The guy let the four of us play for free since Katy”s and my ladies” night cards were expired: “I”ll tell you. I”m a nice guy. But I”m sick of all these drunk women screaming at me. Jack, Coke and Bailey”s on the breath is not a good thing!” Although this could be seen as part of a “unique gaming experience” we agreed in principle. Also, he let us play for free.

Katie Mulcrone”s column runs every other Monday. She can be reached via e-mail at kmulcron@umich.edu.

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