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November 9, 2009

The plight of the videogame wife

After the last post, I thought I'd lighten things up a little.  No, not with more evil things you can do in video games without feeling any shame, but close!

I sometimes feel sorry for my wife and what she has to put up with regarding my video games.  Not the fact that I play them, but the way I am when I play them.  When I used to bowl, I would experience something that I call a "momentary burst of emotion."  If I missed an easy 10-pin or threw my first ball and got a split, I'd let out a mild curse and groan/grunt/whatever.  She sometimes wondered whether I was having any fun doing it, and I always responded that yes, I was having fun.  I just had a "momentary burst of emotion" where I just let out a little frustration with what just happened.  As soon as it was out, I was fine again, and I never let it bother me long-term.

Now, with my video games, it's worse.

I'm a big fan of first-person shooters, but it's pretty much any video game where it happens.  Even the light-hearted cute Xbox Live game called Peggle.  I screw up and die (or lose my ball, or don't get the required score if it's Peggle) and I let out a groan, mild curse (ok, some not so mild curses too) or bang my hand lightly against the arm of the chair.  Of course, if it happens a lot, which it does in shooters (especially multi-player where I'm playing against real people), there's a lot of cursing involved.  She sometimes says "if you're not having fun, then play something else."

But the thing is, I am having fun.  Ok, sometimes it gets really frustrating dying all the time, and those times I do get up and turn the game off.  I either play something else or just stop playing entirely.  Maybe reading a book?  But other times, it's just that "momentary burst of emotion" that I'm letting off a little steam before jumping right back into the fray.  This is fun for me, no matter how much I curse.  The times where I do badly make the times I do well all the sweeter.

There's nothing like getting a lucky headshot on a guy who has you lined up in his sights to do the same to you.  Or throwing a piece of dynamite blindly over the railing of the cantina into a room where the guy who is Wanted is hiding, blasting him to bits and winning the game for your team.  Sure, more often than not I'm the one who's getting killed (I have died over 12,000 times in Call of Duty: World at War).  But that's all right.  It's all whether you're having fun.  And I am having fun.

No matter how blue the streak gets while I'm playing.


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