Title: Time (trial) is not on my side.
Posted: January 11, 2006 (08:18 AM)
I think I don't like the fact that I have grown up. Well, if not exactly grown up, at least that I have become more mature. More adult, and more responsible.
There just never seems to be enough time to play at the moment. What was once an all-encompassing obsession has been constantly relegated and demoted in importance. It currently sits as an 'occasional pastime', something I only do when I have nothing else to do instead.
A massive reason for this is of course my partner. Now, she does play games herself. But, this does not have the effect one would think it would. No, instead of encouraging me to play more, I instead find myself at the other side of the looking-glass I used to be in.
When I played in the past, I ALWAYS had an audience. Be it my wife, the kids, or friends. I used to wait until gone midnight before playing anything I was determined to finish, simply because that was the only way I could actually fully immerse myself. With no-one there to question my every move, no-one to make suggestions, and most importantly no-one to question my responses.
See, I am an adrenaline player. Billy Mitchell may not believe in 'the zone', but I sure as hell do. It happens, no question about it. For me, it generally happens after a while of trying. If it isn't happening, then I start looking for it.
I'll shout. I'll accuse the AI of cheating. I'll swear. I'll call myself and the console all sorts of things. I make John McEnroe look like a baby. I am really nasty, and possibly even petulant. But, I don't care, it gets me to where I need to be. I work best from a position of anger. From a position of blood-flowing faster.
I need that pressure. "I am NOT going to bed until I beat this motherfucker!" If there's no potential price, then I can switch off, lose interest, just drift.
Jeni does not understand this mentality. She hears me re-start the same track on Mario Kart a dozen times before I get a start I am happy with. And then I'll race a dozen of these before I did well enough on the first lap to justify continuing. In all, I'll probably finish about one out of every 50 time-trials I start, possibly even fewer. I know she thinks I can't possibly be having fun. And she is right, I am not having fun. I am working!
Sadly, I am not good enough to do this for a living. Or rather, I don't have the time to get good enough. Work, shopping, the dog, families - all these things continue to make demands of my time. I could at one time spend the entire day playing a game. Today I am lucky if I get more than an hour on one. And, ever more frequently I find myself just not playing so that she can play.
I have within the past month found myself watching Jeni play Spyro : A Hero's Tail! Why in the hell would I ever want to do something like that? It's odd, too, because I frequently have to fight back the urge to tell her what to do. Now, bear in mind that I have never picked up the pad on this game. It's just an instinct, I can see where she needs to go. I know exactly how annoying it is when people instruct you in games, so I never tell her. I do make suggestions when she gets frustrated, but only if I am invited.
It's handy, because the two styles of play are almost entirely incompatible. I have long since given up on games that require weeks of play just to see it all. Whereas Jeni likes games where there is plenty to collect. It would be Nirvana if we had more than the one TV. (Also, being female, she does like to make sure I am paying her the required amount of attention at all times.) So, I will just sit there biting my tongue whilst failing to improve at the latest hand-held game, and she'll shout at the green snot things in Ratchet and Clank 3.
All this, and sex too! What a life I am currently leading.
Title: Watching our better halves
Posted: January 11, 2006 (11:10 AM)
I have the same issues when I watch my wife play. She plays RPGs or she plays simple games like Hexic or Bust-A-Move or whatever. I watch, and she'll just flounder through the game, and suddenly it's there: a massive combo that no person in his right mind would ever be able to utilize. Does she use it? Of course not! She's just been floundering the whole time, and doesn't have the skill to see it sitting there. That's probably how she made it available in the first place. So it's all I can do to not say "turn that piece there and you'll have the highest score known to man." Then she'll make a few more turns, everything comes crashing down, and she wonders why the game is so hard and why she can't score well. It's tough.
Posted: January 12, 2006 (03:17 AM)
Oh man, Puzzle Bobble! I used to borderline heart attack watching that game. There'd be 2 reds at the top right, wide open, but 1 red at the bottom left, holding 30 or so bubbles. Now, you or I would put a 2nd red onto it straight away. Anyone with sense would. However, the amount of times I have seen such opportunities go to waste could be counted on the fingers of one football team. They ALWAYS go for the easy points!
And then they'll never play you head-to-head!
Yeah, I hate Puzzle Bobble. Or at least, I hate other people playing it. =P