Monday, June 4, 2012

Playing games together

There is an ideal in the world of hetero gamer men.  It goes something like this:  Beautiful gamer woman walks into your living room, you hit on her, date her and end up marrying her.  She agrees to go off and earn money while you sit around playing games all day and in the evenings and on weekends you play games together.  What could be better?

Against all odds I managed to make this happen.  I rolled well I suppose?  Naw, must be skill.  The trouble with this scenario in my case though is that it is hard to play games together when two people are in really different worlds.  Wendy and I are both hyper competitive and I in particular want to play games really intensely or not at all.  Diablo 3 came out and I have been playing like a maniac, working my way through the later and harder parts of the game.  Wendy has been slowly catching up and we have been playing together but we are starting to hit a wall where the stuff I am doing most of the time requires serious time commitment, research, and practice; far more than Wendy has the time for.  It is tricky for us to share the game because the things I have fun doing require way more time than normal people can afford to invest.

We can see the reverse when Wendy's friends at work talk about the things they do there.  They have a common language and understanding that makes it possible for them to communicate things that I haven't much of a hope of figuring out.  I have a vague understanding of what MRI research entails but it simply isn't sufficient  to allow me to do anything but sit around and nod when they get really involved talking about work.  I could of course eventually learn what I would need to know to participate but I don't have the interest to spend thousands of hours to do so; the same sort of situation Wendy is in with the games I play.  The difference, of course, is that I don't have any sort of expectation of understanding MRI research and nobody else really expects me to either.

In some ways it is easier when we don't share hobbies.  When I am working on building a game and Wendy is knitting we both do our thing independently but when we play games we both *want* playing together to be perfectly easy and smooth.  We have a good time doing it but I think we both really want to get that feeling of shared flow from doing something together at the same level where we are challenged equally and that can be tough to achieve.

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