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Archive for May, 2010

Continuing my apparent theme of “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” – I just totally nerded out for the last hour and a half on various Modnation forums, trying to figure out why Trevor and our friends and I can’t get the online play function to work properly for us with this game.

I joined two forums I may never actually use again, the official Playstation Modnation Racers forum & Modnation Online, just so I could post some questions and make some replies, and try to get to the bottom of all this.

After discovering that this was a common problem/complaint and there is no fix for it yet, I then also proceeded to fill out a feedback form for the official feedback thread on the Playstation forum – because, according to a bunch of other people on there, that’s what you’re supposed to do if you actually want to see change.

I feel strangely accomplished right now…even if all Trevor did when I told him all this was tell me JP had already told him, and then dismiss me, pointing to his earpiece  and arching his brow to indicate he was in the middle of something.

This morning at work, I was still in a bad mood from an unresolved incident between Trevor and me last night – and I was trying to tell one of my sympathetic coworkers about it when another coworker walked in and caught just the tail end. He spun around and said, “you got in a fight with your husband over a video game?!” He had missed all the context, so I just blew him off, but when I thought about it later, I was kind of like, “well, yea, I kind of did. I mean, we kind of do that a lot”.

I mean, it’s not like I go around judging his gaming choices or anything. It’s not like our fights center around “why the hell are you playing Hard Rain? It’s dumb”. But I feel like I can trace a lot the arguments we’ve had during our relationship to not only his relationship with gaming, but to my relationship with gaming, and, more specifically, my relationship with his gaming.

Mostly I just feel left out, I think. I’m not skilled enough to play the games he likes the most, and the games I like the most are not usually games that can hold his attention for very long. And then, often, the games he likes that I might find interesting and might want to try regardless of my skill level, are single-player, so we can’t truly play together anyway. On the rare occasion when we both like a game that is multiplayer, I still don’t usually get to play it very often because it’s his console, his sanctuary of an office/game room, and his time with his friends that I have to interrupt and intrude upon in order to play, and I do feel like an intruder when I do this. Usually playing with me means online play is out, too, which just cuts him off more from the reason he’s there in the first place – to play games with his friends.

I think it’s funny when Trevor and his friends complain about how their significant others aren’t into gaming, though. Funny, and kind of ironic, because why would we be interested when instead of being something that brings us together, as it surely has the potential to be, it’s really more something that pushes us apart, that gets between us? Sometimes I feel like they just put it into this realm of “this is not something I do with you, except when it’s convenient for me, and only when it’s completely on my terms” – and that’s just not always going to work for me, and it’s certainly not likely to be the most effective way to get me excited about it.

Trevor bought me an Xbox 360 last year, and I’m really happy to have one of my own, but as it sits collecting dust inbetween my fevered bouts of Guitar Hero play, next to my seldom-used Wii, I begin to think he really misses the point a lot when it comes to me and him and gaming. There are some games I like on my own, for my own sake (the aforementioned Guitar Hero being one in a very short list which includes Rayman’s Raving Rabbids and House of the Dead and Rock Band and a few others). But mostly I want to know more about gaming, I want to play more only because I want to spend more time with him and understand something that he is so very invested in and enjoys so much, and see if I can find things to enjoy about it, too.

For example, with model-building, it’s not like I have no interest of my own, it’s just that my own vague curiosity was never strong enough to overcome the intimidation and fear I felt in the face of all those beautiful scale replicas – so I never went out and tried it on my own. But when my curiosity is combined with the fact that it’s an activity he loves and that he does well and can help me with, that makes trying it out an obvious choice. It’s very much the same with video games – I liked them before, but I want to like them more now that I’m with someone who loves them so much and plays them so often.

It’s also all part of an effort to get him to just let me in. But I get tired of trying sometimes. And sometimes I think he doesn’t want to let me in, not to this. Which is fine, he should have those things, things of his own – I just wish he had chosen something he doesn’t want to do all the time, or that, if he’s going to choose gaming to be that thing, he wouldn’t do it all the time. One or the other, that’s all I’m asking.

Oh, and some help with my model, please. And maybe some help learning how to walk forward and shoot at the same time while playing first-person shooters wouldn’t hurt either.

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…join them.

I’m gonna try to put together my very own model! I’ll let you all know how it goes.

Whenever I have been to Bridgetown Hobbies and Games (which is an extremely cool place, btw) I have always been the only female in the place (except when my mom and I go together, but then we’re the only two). Today when I went with Trevor was no exception. While I was looking at games, I was privy to a conversation between one of the store employees and a customer he was explaining a game to. They were lamenting their wives’ lack of interest in games, but it quickly became clear from both sides of the conversation that their wives did have games they liked to play, they just weren’t usually the same games their husbands liked to play, and they didn’t usually want to play them quite as often or for quite as long. This is exactly what goes on between Trevor and I, however listening to their own stories about their respective wives, I started to feel a little better. After all, sure, Trevor could have done better. He could’ve found a Felicia Day gamer-girl extraordinaire (although how many of those actually exist is in doubt).  But he also could have done a lot worse – at least I love board games and card games, and I’ll try almost any new game at least once.

In the middle of these two guys’ conversation, I shouted across the room to Trevor about a game we were looking for that I couldn’t find, and he made another comment back to me about a different game he thought I’d like. They both stopped talking and looked at me in amazement. They seemed briefly mystified by me, and I got the distinct feeling that, though their wives play with them sometimes, they certainly aren’t going to the store with them and pointing out different games they’d like to try. And so I feel a little better now about Trevor and my’s varying degrees of interest in gaming. Yes, any video game where I’m expected to master walking forward and looking around/aiming simultaneously is going to mystify me. But, I’ll try your crazy Call of Cthulu board game with nine million game pieces and cards and thingamajigs, and hey, I just found a model of a B-25 I want to try to build if you will help me.

Progress!

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Are you fonder of me because of my internet absence? I really need to get better about this whole blogging thing. Thank god it’s not for profit, I would be awful at that.

Anyway.

Trevor just got back from a visit to his hometown of Fresno, CA yesterday. He had been gone since last Sunday. I always think when my husband is gone I will miss him terribly the whole time, and then I’m shocked when that first day or two are actually kind of pleasant without him. Then the novelty completely wears off very quickly, and it turns out I do miss him terribly after all, such that by the time he actually gets back, I’m desperate to see him.

The thing about those first two days is that they’re quieter. I didn’t realize until he left just how much I miss the quiet of a house sans video games or tv. Reading was a whole new experience. I sat in the living room and there was no incessant background noise, it was just quiet and still and peaceful. That’s how I experienced it in the beginning, as a novel kind of relief from the usual routine. But, nearing the end of the week it started to seem too quiet. And I felt so alone.

My constant complaint to Trevor is that I didn’t get married, or get into a relationship, so that I could be alone all the time. I want to do more with him, do more together. We do a lot of stuff near each other, but not with each other, and I’ve always held that it’s just that difference which often makes me feel so lonely or isolated, even though we spend so much time in the same apartment together. But when he wasn’t here, and I was truly alone in the apartment, I realized that just being near him is, after all, a lot. Perhaps more importantly, it’s enough.

By the end of his vacation, I could no longer sleep through the night the way I could the first day or two. I missed having him near me, and I tossed and turned without his familiar, comforting presence there in the bed with me. Now that he’s back, the apartment is once again filled with the sounds of gunfire and grenade explosions that come from his various video games. I won’t go so far as to say I’m pleased by that, but perversely I did miss it in a way and it’s oddly comforting to have it back. Our apartment sounds like it’s supposed to again.

And once again I’m reminded of how much the small things in life are what make everything worth it. A bubble bath, a cup of tea, a good book, and, yes, the background noise that results from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – sometimes you don’t even realize you miss these things until you’ve gone too long without them.

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