I’ve never been into video games. I’ve also never been too keen on men who play them all the time. It arouses deep-seated prejudices and disgust that may or may not be rightfully deserved. The fact that certain people spend days, weeks, months at a time lost in a cyber world of fantasy football or shooting aliens just seems so deeply…lame to me.
(quick confession…I was BIG into certain computer games as an adolescent though. Nothing wrong with a little Myst or Riven. Also the Monkey Island games may STILL be my favorite thing to grace a computer screen, ever. Despite my somewhat gamerish teen years, I still manage to turn my nose up at people who do it now. What can I say, I’m a bit of a hypocrite.)
So when my husband decided to bring home the Xbox that he shares with his brother (they take turns having it for roughly 6 months at a time…I think it’s a pretty great way to split the cost of the thing and NOT let it take over your life), I was, shall we say, UN-thrilled. I envisioned months of Jake disappearing into the TV room every evening, accompanied by the muffled sounds of war-cries and sword-gashes. He would stumble into bed around 2AM, and would be zombified the next morning…only to repeat the process once again the following night.
Imagine my surprise when he asked, one evening, if I wanted to try playing Diablo 3 with him. Diablo 3, for the uninitiated, is a nerdy-as-fuck third-person fantasy adventure game where you walk around a magical world and kill lots of monsters and zombies and sort of try to solve mysteries, but mostly just kill shit with swords and magic spells.
My first reaction was something along the lines of “I don’t PLAY video games. And I can’t work the controllers–they’re too confusing…how would I even move around…I’m scared of the monsters…I’m sure I won’t like it…” Yet through Jake’s patient coaching, I managed to ‘master’ the Xbox controllers after a few minutes of confusion, and discovered that killing the monsters wasn’t really that hard, and was totally satisfying.
Also, I’m a huge sucker for picking a character and a name…so you best believe I chose to be a female wizard (known for their power and intelligence!) named Zarielle. Yes I’m 13 and yes I made up that name.
Which is all to say…holy shit, I love playing this game. Jake and I are addicted. We play together for hours, staying up later than we ever would doing anything else. We talk about it with the same amount of anticipation as a date night at a restaurant, and prioritize it as much as…if not more than….certain other marital bonding activities (wink wink, nudge nudge).
While it may sound pathetic, I’m here to advocate for this new form of couple’s therapy. I swear it is bringing us together in new, nerdy ways that no TV show has ever done. So ladies…give it a try. The couple that games together, stays together.