I will openly and honestly admit that not only do I love science fiction (and fantasy) but I also haven’t actually played half the video games I profess to love.
Gasp. But, why? Doesn’t that make me a dirty poser?
I don’t know. I don’t think so. I also don’t care. I’ma do what I like. And what I like, is to watch.
There are some video games that I love purely because the geek in me is engaged in the story (for example, The Mass Effect Saga).
On more than many occasions I’ve cozied up on the couch with The Mister and suggested he start up a particular video game so I can watch. He lets me design all his characters and we make dialog decisions together.
There have also been many times when I’ve gotten stank because “I din’t finish reading that!” I don’t want to race through and collect all the items or climb to all the tallest points (but I’ve learned to like those off-shoots over time). I want to know who dunnit and what happens next.
Story is one very important component of a video game’s overall saleability. Sometimes, for me, it’s more important than playability. I’m not always looking for a challenge or an outlet for my energy; sometimes I’m just looking for characters, motivation, and plot.
Make no mistake, I am in fact supportive and interested (and his wife). I found so many Riddler trophies and solved so many of those clues (I got Two-Face in, like, seconds). I cheer for The Mister and suggest what might work next time in case of failure. He solicits my opinion when he wants it and I may have fallen asleep or not thought to offer it. But, I’m also there for my own benefit.
We enjoy this time together and our teamwork (as long as he’s not playing on xbox live and trying to talk to both his party and me).
Sometimes I even get angry if he plays without me. It’s like he’s burning through our DVR queue without me. In cases like this I insist on being caught up on any developments I may have missed. He understands and obliges.
To me, video games, are another way for me to get my science fiction and fantasy fixes. They represent the turbo-charged offspring of those middle school choose your own adventure books I use to get from the book fair and wear down to tatters, smudges, and broken spines.
With another player in the house, though, I have the same leisure I get reading or watching without needing to add on the stress of tactile frustration.
Now, I do play games on my own as well as watch. I find great joy in overcoming my own tactile frustrations and finding all the items and beating all the bosses in my games. But I’m also a sharer.
The gamer in me isn’t afraid of failing, or losing, or not being solely responsible for one hundred percent of the victory to be had. When I get up to refill my drink, I hand over the controls. If there’s a flying section that I know I won’t enjoy but The Mister might, I hand over the controller.
Nope, the gamer in me is just here to play the game and have a good time. Sometimes, that means not playing at all and simply watching him play. And, I’m okay with that.