There’s something special that happens when you get to bond with a parent over a video game. Contributor CB Rucker talked about bonding over sports video games with his father. Me? I came from a Street Fighter II family. My mother wasn’t big into videos games, but there was something about Street Fighter II that made her want next. Something about Ryu’s hurricane kick [Tatsumaki if ya nasty] and Chun-Li’s Spinning Bird Kick that awoke the fight in her.
So much so, that years later when the commercial for Street Fighter dropped, she saw her mans and dem Ryu after all these years, looked me dead in the windows of my soul, my gamer, and said, “Is that Ryu? I want that game! Omar, do you have that system?! *pointing at the tv like ” are you seeing this?!” Let’s get that game!* Playing against my mother in Street Fighter is one of my favorite memories of her before
she ran out of quarters for the continue died. So, when I saw Craig of the Creek drop the episode “Power Punchers,” I said “Nah! Nah, they not about to do it to us are they? They goin’ give us the video game bonding.” Bring on the .gifs!
Enter Power Punchers
Yes. They. Were. The episode revolves around the nightly ritual of Craig Williams finishing his homework and then battling his father in one round of the 90’s 2D fighter Pocket Fighters (a Capcom homage) before bed. What ensues is the cutest family struggle I’ve ever seen on family television. Not only are we seeing a Black family being a regular family together, it’s a Black father bonding with his kid over a video game from his youth. That’s it. It sounds so simple, but we don’t get to see that too often in most cartoons or even most live actions shows. This episode felt like going back through a time machine when your parent either took interest in what you were into or got you into something they enjoyed.
Ages may be different, but the Black Boy joy ain’t changed
Craig of the Creek continues to tell the stories that are straight from the current adult’s childhood.
All the Button Mashers Put Ya Hands Up
Not the button mashing! Craig of the Creek exposing everybody!
Button mashing is everybody’s ground zero.
Before the Game Pros, game genies, cheat codes, or thinking to press start to look at the move set, all you had were the strength of your own two hands!
You gotta mash them buttons and learn to walk before you can run with combos.
Duane Williams Hit the Victory Dance for Dads Everywhere
You’ve never felt the waves of disdain and hate unless you’ve had a parent hit you with a victory dance.
A mom or dad busting out a victory dance over you will set you off, fam.
I done seen my sister have to leave the room when mom beat her in cards.
Duane Williams hit Craig, not only a victory dance, but his character, Kid Jammer’s, victory dance? That double damage to the ego. Ya boi Craig fed up.
“Find a Master ‘fore you can Come Back into the Dojo”
This shows a great difference in the times between the older Duane playing the game on a console (and probably in an arcade back in his day) and David who sought out the game and appreciates it using today’s technology in order to play it. Craig of the Creek flourishes in these attentions to details. Like how Craig is using a controller, but we see David using an arcade style controller. Also, David is a great teacher for Craig as he’s patient and shows him moves bit by bit so that he can flesh out his skills. Fam, this is some real way of the samurai shit. Craig of the Creek loves to use anime tropes, and it only gets wilder from here. Craig is on a mission, fam. “I’ll do whatever it takes to finally annihilate my dad… who shows me nothing but love and support.” Bars.
Craig wants all of the smoke! Duane just trying to do his lil’ girl’s hair, but Craig draggin’ him back into the fighting ring. It freaking be like that at times when you trying to defeat your parent in a game. It is throw down time. Don’t you duck me Old Man/ Old Woman. We goin’ settle this score!
This much Improvement Over One Night? Somethings Up??
Special Moves Training!
David has to teach Craig at his house. Craig knows this is a bad idea cause his dad will be home any minute but then learns David is going to show him Admiral Anchor’s special move. The day you learn to master the quarter circle (or the Hadouken motion as we call it) you have achieved peak gamer.
You Think I Don’t Know What Happens in my Own House?!”
We’re here now. Daune sees his son has taken up a new master. He’s become a fighter. He went to train with someone else in order to defeat him. He has been forsaken by his own son, fam! Then Craig hits him with that trill, “How can I beat you when I only get to play a few minutes a night, and you’ve got a hundred years of experience! You were holding me back so bad that if you weren’t, I woulda beat you by now.” There it is. The gauntlet has been thrown down. There’s only one thing left for Duane to do. Duane gotta put his son in line. Every mother/father knows this time, when your kid thinks they can finally beat you in a game. Now, it is challenge day in the Williams household!
Craig of The Creek vs Duane of the Console
Show your dad who you are now, Craig!
The Experience Points Been Over 9,000?!
The Weights are off Now!
Duane Exposing his Own Son on the Sticks? Ruthless!
You know someone is getting the breaks beat off them in an anime when a character is so amazed/shook/impressed they ask, “Who is this guy?” Duane Williams out here on the sticks giving his son that work that he learned back in his arcade days. The skills he learned taking folks out on his Saga (get it?) console from the comfort of his own home. This is Jordan dropping 38 points with the flu. Tony Hawk landing the 900. Martha Stewart getting “Cornucopia Life” tat’d across the belly after her bid up north.
There can be Only One!
Who Wants it More?!
Here Comes the Hail Mary…
The Heart of the Matter
Once the dust was cleared, what it all came down to was Duane wanting to spend time with his son. It’s a hard thing when your kids start to outgrow activities you’d do together. Tell me that ain’t the realist man. Craig’s brother, Bernard, use to play against Duane all the time. Once he beat Duane, they stopped playing. That’s rough, man. That’s gotta feel like your child growing up an outgrowing you as a parent in some sense as well. Why is there this much heart in this show? My god!
The Time has Come
I Ain’t Hear no Bell.
Craig lets his dad know he ain’t in a hurry to grow up just yet.
The Saga Continues!
You can’t tell me it gets any cuter than this. Craig of the Creek is really out here continuously paying homage to 90’s-2000’s kids that have become adults now while giving great stories to the children of the present. You wanted family-oriented stories and your audience being able to see themselves on screen? Craig of the Creek got you. Don’t even get me started on the Mario Kart inspired kart racing episode.
A New Challenger has Arrived
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