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Posts Tagged ‘gaming’

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s that sometimes you just need to hit things with swords.  Big sharp swords.  Since I’m a sedentary middle-aged woman, I do it virtually.  After my bout of movie-induced-melancholy last night, the chaos of boxes and packing and housekeeping were overwhelming me, and an email offering a free week of World of Warcraft just happened to appear in my inbox.  Darn you, Blizzard marketing department.  You’ve been spying on me.   

Smashing things feels incredibly soothing right now.  It’s like antidepressants, with sound effects and treasure.  Of course  WoW is a money pit.  After buying the program, you have to subscribe for $15 a month, which means $30 because if I subscribe, Flash will too.   I’m still on my free week, so we’ll see.  I don’t have the latest upgrades and they want to sell me those.  We have so many moving related expenses and I don’t have a regular income yet… but gaming is still way cheaper than therapy.  Not that I’m giving up therapy any time soon.

The last time I played Warcraft regularly was a couple of years ago.  At that time the boys were younger, and didn’t really notice if mom and dad locked their bedroom door at night so we could sneak in some roleplaying.   In the game.  Get your minds out of the gutter.  Now, however, launching the game attracts Kinesis and Entropy like magnets.  “What are you doing?  Why don’t you kill that?  Go climb that tower and jump off!”  The fact that they have their own games to play during quiet time, their own DSs, access to a computer with subscriptions of their own to ClubPenguin and Lego Universe, and in our living room sit an XBox, a Playstation 3 and a Wii does not distract them from hanging over my shoulder and kibbitzing about Cuteypie, my new troll character.  This has led to the development of new geek parenting phrases, such as “Go play your own MMOG! Now!”

There have been some changes in the game in the past two years.  The graphics are better, and I find the gameplay smoother.  Yet it still is a world populated by adolescent males and those who act like them.  Sometimes I just have to turn off the universal chat function.  I prefer to avoid guilds and PVP and just play solo quests, or group up just with Flash, doing lots of crafting along the way.  You know, the girly stuff.  And being in the same room on side-by-side laptops saves a lot of time on chat. 

Of course, computer gaming is a time sink.  I probably could have packed the kitchen cabinets I had my eye on today, but instead I got up and logged on for a while… and then the while grew… and grew.  I’m going to have to set some strict limits if this is going to continue.   The whole time we were watching Dr. Who (and more about that tomorrow) I was preoccupied with wondering where Flash and I would find some level 10+ quests in the Ogrimmar region.  When you can’t focus on the Tardis, you are officially hooked. 

Anyhow, that’s all for tonight.  Gotta go fight some bristleback quillboars.  You know.  Mom stuff.

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My experience of the past two years and my ultimate social and mental defeat (albeit temporary, I have hope)  has led me to reflect on what I have discovered about the nature of  community.  Strangely, for someone who has spent her entire adult life employed by churches (dare we say, “church communities”) I’ve always struggled with finding true community.  A place where the metaphorical masks come off.  It’s not that I don’t have a wonderful family, fantastic friends… but those I am closest to are all members of a very small subculture.  Geek tribe.  Ironically, a place where literal masks sometimes go on.

Now, you may say that I might have to be more specific about my allegiance.  That the real geeks are (choose your personal favorite):  comic geeks, science geeks, cosplay fans, hobby boardgamers,  computer nerds, anime otaku, schoolgirl goths, nerdcore rappers, yaoi readers, SCA reenactors, old-school role-playing gamers, sci-fi fanatics or anyone who owns any sort of t-shirt referring to the above.  It’s a cross-section of geekery like you only see at Comicon.  And… it’s my tribe.  And if you have any idea what I’m referring to above, it’s most likely yours as well.  Yep.

As I’ve struggled the past two years to create lasting friendships in a new community, I’ve realized that ignoring my own geek tendencies only compounds the problem.  I live a double life–pass for vanilla by day and then come home and have fun with my family.  So one of my dreams is that as we travel across the country, as I journey into where and what I want to be, I am able to be authentically… me.  Just me.  The woman who spent much of the past week jailbreaking her iPhone so it looks like a Star Trek TNG Padd.  It’s fantastic.  Regardless of whatever stars the other sneeches have on thars.  Isn’t that part of the human condition, how God created us to be?  And, importantly, I must ask the obvious question:  Can I be myself and still find ministry in my life? 

Tonight I’m having Mommy/Son time with Kinetic.  We are watching favorite movies like the original Indiana Jones and a couple of Harry Potter movies, plus he spent some time playing Oblivion while I watched.  Ice cream is involved.  We’re going to “sleepover” on the couch and watch movies until we fall asleep. 

  We’re able to have this together time because Flash and Entropy are out at one of their favorite   Friday night events–Magic The Gathering league play at the game store.  It is mostly attended by men from their 20s to middle age, but 9 year old Entropy fits right in.  Tonight he wore his Requeza hat.  (That’s a Pokemon, for the uninitiated.)  He’d worn it all day.  Entropy was amazingly well-behaved, asking people’s names, introducing himself, shaking hands.  Then it happened, as he interacted with one of the few kids his own age.

Kid sitting next to Entropy says, “Dude! You have your own Requeza hat!  That’s awesome!”

I want all my life to be like that.  Dude!  You are awesome!

Back to the boxes tomorrow.  The mountain grows behind the couch, and the empty boxes have taken over the entryway as well as much of the living room.  That’s for tomorrow.  For tonight remember: there are only 10 types of people in the world, those who understand binary, and those who don’t.

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