I don’t always read the emails Apple sends me regarding new music, books, and apps, but this one caught my eye. The familiar logo of Sid Meier’s Pirates.

Last summer I wrote about a computer game my dad and I used to play called Hero’s Quest. There was another game we used to play, simply called Pirates—ironic, considering my dad had pirated the game from a coworker. We wasted many hours playing that game, and I’m afraid I may just waste some more.

I purchased the new app for five bucks and immediately I was twelve again. It’s still the same in many ways, but with quite a few improvements. My avatar (I guess that’s what you’d call it today) is a pirate in the Caribbean in the 1600s. I sail from one town to another, picking off enemy ships, defeating other infamous pirates, digging up treasure, pillaging settlements, rescuing my lost family members, and even dancing with governors’ daughters. From time to time I divide up the plunder and fill the coffers of my own personal fortune, while garnering military titles and acreage from friendly nations.

It’s awful, I know, to be simulating a pirate. The real ones were barbarous, torturing their victims, stealing and raping. But this game is rather PG. And it’s some of the only parental guidance I ever received from Dad.

Today marks the second anniversary of his death. And I’m not sure I sense the loss of, and the connection to, Dad any greater than when I’m playing the game. I keep thinking, Dad would love to see this. I wish I could show it to him. How much more real the sword fighting and nautical navigation is. How detailed the menus are showing information about cities, ships, and cargo. How instead of toting around a PC, I can take the game with me to the porch.

Would it be far stretched to think that Dad would be proud of my pirate avatar? One of my first blog posts two years ago was about Dad and how I think he’d be proud of me (see “Not Bad for a White Boy”). I guess I just wish we could play together again.

I miss you, Dad.

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2 thoughts on “Swashbuckling with Dad

  1. I find myself thanking God for the most random things in regards to my dad….I have to look for the good, so….not a bit odd to me that you would wonder if your dad would like your pirate avatar. Your girls and boys are blessed that you are different.   

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    1. Yeah, it’s funny. Yesterday I was wearing a shirt of his, one of those western kind with the snaps. Somehow, it appeared to add 5-10 pounds to me — reminiscent of his beer gut. All this time I thought he was fat in the middle. I guess it was just the shirts!

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