Friday, March 5, 2010

The Couple that Plays Together

My husband is an avid computer gamer.  He is usually waiting at the door of the local Best Buy when they offer a new computer game for sale.  Sometimes he even drools while he waits.  He's hardcore about it.  If you ask him a question about a game, he will start talking and I swear it will remind you of that scene in Forest Gump where Bubba is telling Forest about the shrimp.  Sometimes you don't even have to ask him a question, he'll just start talking.  Most of the time I love that about him.  Not everybody gets that into a hobby. 

A couple of years ago, Larry started playing World of Warcraft, aka WoW.  He was obsessed with it, to the point where I basically had to issue an ultimatum.  To his credit, he chose me over a computer game, and I was eternally grateful because I wasn't sure how I would be able to make a house payment by myself.  (I keed, I keed.)  But at that time, Larry complained that I never wanted to do anything that he liked to do.  I listened.  Lord of the Rings Online was about to come out--a massive, multi-player role-playing game(mmprpg).  So we got two copies of the game, two accounts and signed up. 

Now, my 'gaming' skills at that point were limited to games like SimCity, Civilization, and Solitaire.  I did try to play Half-Life once, but the first person shooter angle made me nauseated and I had to lie down.  Also, I am not ashamed to admit that I have the Walk and Chew Gum Syndrome, and as a result I have difficulty using both hands at the same time without looking down.  So I had no illusions about my gameplay.  But I wasn't there to win, I was there to spend quality time with my husband. 

My first "solo" instance was completed with Larry looking over my shoulder and telling me what to do and how to press the buttons and don't forget to read on that side and this is what you have in your packs and how not to die.  Once I got through that instance, he could come with me in the virtual Middle Earth and we got to do quests together.  And I had fun.  Mostly--sometimes I also would want to throw my monitor out the window when I got frustrated.  My character is a Loremaster, which means that I have spells and a really big stick that I can whack things with.  We joined a kinship and we have worked really hard at forming raids(groups of 12 or more) to kill the really big monsters.  Surprisingly, I am not the only woman in the kinship, but I am the least experienced gamer.  I know this because I seem to ask the lamest questions, at least in my own mind.  But the guys in the kinship have all been very kind to me, and most importantly, they've been helpful.  And I'm finally starting to feel more comfortable doing quests by myself and leveling my character up on my own.  And I kind of think that Larry is proud of me, but if he isn't, I'm at least proud of myself. I did something different that was out of my comfort zone, and I not only survived, I learned something about myself. 

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