Video games and me

My wonderful partner is a gamer (both of ours are, actually).  He plays video games, D&D, etc.  Since I like to snuggle with him on the couch, I have watched quite a bit of video gaming.  I never play myself, though.  It seems kind of tedious and I don’t have the eye-hand coordination for it (since I didn’t grow up doing it).  Studies show that video gamers are actually better at attention tasks than most other people!

Even though I only watch, usually, I still have opinions about games that I like and don’t like.  And a few times I have actually played some things on the Wii, due to ease of control.  I thought WiiSports was totally fun — well — fun until I hyperextended my elbow playing frisbee.  Oops.  We also tried Super Mario Galaxy, which was again fun, especially the team-play aspect that let me be a backup player to his more experienced play.  The parts I had trouble with were the parts where I had to jump.  It turns out that, in video games as in life, I have only rudimentary jumping abilities.

Most recently, we tried Kirby’s Yarn Adventure.  The thing that made me stop playing was the discovery that leveling isn’t linear.  At first, each level is ok and I am finally starting to get the hang of it when WHAM!  the next level is way, WAY harder and I can never manage it (for values of “never” meaning “I am too lazy”). (#2 says:  They do that on purpose, it says so in my partner’s book on game design.  That’s how they get less-lazy people trapped.)

Flying pirate ship in Rogue Galaxy, hell yeah!

My favorite game, which I watched my partner play hours and hours of several years ago, remains Rogue Galaxy on the PS2.  Here are the things I like about it:

  • When you kill enemies and get coins, they are given to you all in a lump at the end.  Therefore you don’t have to run around picking them up, which is distracting, as in Kingdom Hearts.
  • The game has great music.  It’s a real trick to play, say, the same going-into-battle music or the same running-around-this-planet music over and over and over and have me not get sick of it!
  • The mechanisms of combat are not annoying.  There’s a mix of environments to keep it interesting.
  • For the most part the characters were not too annoying (except the Jar-Jar guy) and the game is more female-focused than usual, though it is still a male-focused game.

Look, women

  • Importantly, it had an innovative collecting system where you find items and have to strategize how to put them together to open up new items

  • Somehow I got into the story and made him wait for me to finish it.  That NEVER happens!  The game is pretty, too, though not as pretty as, say, Kingdom Hearts.  Bioshock on the PC was very pretty too.

#2 says:  Some of you have already heard my sad saga of why I can’t play video games anymore.  To recap:  DH leaves for a conference.  Day 1:  I work until 6pm, then play Neverwinter Nights until 10 or so.  Day 2:  I work until noon, then play Neverwinter Nights until midnight or so.  Day 3:  I play Neverwinter Nights until DH gets home and I’ve beaten it on Day 5 (or was it 6 or 7?  It is all a blur…), wondering why I smell bad and don’t appear to have eaten or blinked in several days.  Video game privileges revoked as apparently I have no self-control.  It is a wonder I ever made it to the bathroom (assuming I did).

16 Responses to “Video games and me”

  1. First Gen American Says:

    Yeah, mine is a big time gamer too. Mainly WoW, but also did D+D and Magic and all the uber dork stuff as well. He hides his dorkiness well though. You’d never know he was a comic book convention attending D+D geek. He claims that is the way his kind can survive and to hide these addictions until it’s too late.

    I always thought gaming was a big time suck but I can appreciate the social part of WoW..hanging and chatting with your friends at night. I also think the themes and art part of it is pretty cool. But now I’m like the pot calling the kettle black with my blogging. It’s easily as big a time suck now. I wonder if someday I’ll have to quit cold turkey..or go all in.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Mine was upfront with his. I fell for him anyway. :) And we know a couple who met at a Starfleet Battles gaming group… they just had a baby. Still, male uber dorks seem to outnumber female uber dorks at these things.

  2. retirebyforty Says:

    I used to play a lot of games, but blogging is taking a lot of time these days so I cut down quite a bit. I played Team Fortress 2 on PC for about a year. It’s addicting. Right now, I’m playing Dragon Age a few hours a week, it’s a lot of fun. I usually play games that’s around a year old because the discount is so steep. I never went to any dorky conventions though. :)

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      … my DH is faculty sponsor to the university club that runs a gaming convention…

      He’s cut down a lot on video gaming since DC has gotten older, though since the grandparents got DC a wii, those hours will probably go up again.

      Blogging and video gaming are kind of substitutes, eh.

  3. Rumpus Says:

    I like games, but I prefer ones with innovative mechanics. I don’t play anywhere near as much as I used to in high school and college…as a result of work, etc. Sometimes that bothers me because I remember how much fun I used to have, but generally I’m just cutting out the dross and there are lots of other things to do with my time. I’ve never gotten into MMORPGs…I don’t find them interesting enough, though I have relatives that got addicted. Personally I’d rather be interacting face-to-face.

  4. Money Reasons Says:

    As a kid I played a little, but not so much now…

    My peers at work do though! They are constantly connecting on-line and playing. they all have Playstation 3s, whereas we have a WII.

    As RB40 states above, Blogging takes up a lot of my time too.

  5. Lindy Mint Says:

    I play the Lego Batman, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, also Little Big Planet with my son, but pretty much opt out of all others. I only like games with cute characters.

    The only game I would play by myself is Katamari. Even though I am not so good at it, it’s still quite fun (and the characters are cute of course).

  6. Jacq @ Single Mom Rich Mom Says:

    I used to play Super Mario World eons ago with my oldest son and the youngest can still get me on it if he begs long enough. I don’t play anything now, except Sudoku and cards on my DS once every couple of weeks or so. I don’t really get the fascination and I’ve seen a few documentaries on the addictive nature of the games and seen it first hand in some of my friends’ kids which is why the youngest is pretty much tech-free apart from his DS. He has no interest in going on to play with other kids. The oldest likes playing games once in awhile with friends, but doesn’t play these multi-player role playing things. I just wonder if there isn’t something missing in our society that this kind of thing fulfills, yet with little to no tangible rewards, if not actually being quite negative for some…

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Video games have some good aspects too. Supposedly they’re correlated with longer, not shorter, attention spans and better small motor skills and hand-eye coordination. There’s some evidence that they lead to better health and longer lives in older folks in randomized experiments.

      But there’s also an optimal level of video game playing. Older folks aren’t playing enough. It’s probable that teens are playing too many.

  7. Comrade PhysioProf Says:

    Video games are for [censored]en dumassesse.

  8. Moar video games « Grumpy rumblings of the untenured Says:

    […] I have written before about enjoying video games even though I don’t play them.  In that post I said Kingdom Hearts was pretty.  Well lemmee tell you, those days seem to be over because I can’t stand whatever new/current version of KH my partner is playing right now.  Here’s what’s been going around the #1 household lately, in case you care… […]

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