New52 | Week 13
Lucky thirteen! Which is the official one-quarter mark in this endeavor if I’m doing my math correctly. New52 – now 25% complete!
I live with two professional-grade gamers. I like watching the guys play, especially when they’re working together on a game, and some people find it odd that I’ll sit and watch someone else play games but they can accomplish things in a quarter of the time it would take me and I still get the benefit of seeing how the games end. I call that efficiency. And when they’re painstakingly searching in every nook and cranny of a game for some missing coin/clue/objective/brick – I can just be like “Well this looks like it’s going to take a while, I’ll be back in my office.”
We have a Wii and an Xbox 360, and the Xbox 360 is where they spend the majority of their time now. There aren’t a lot of games on that system for “chicks”. It’s a very “dude-oriented” game system, in my opinion. I’m a very anxious person already so I will very quickly walk away from any game that’s making me clutch a game controller in a death grip and/or break out in a cold sweat from fear. Even when I’m just watching these guys play sometimes I find myself clenching every muscle in my body until they reach the end of a level. The video games I played as a kid were nothing like this. I mean, Pong got pretty intense sometimes, but I didn’t have nightmares about it or anything.
The other big hurdle to me joining them in video games is, of course, the “this is time I could be spending doing other things” dialogue that runs through my head – one that I’m sure many of you are also familiar with. It’s a subject for another day, but when your office is in your house it’s very easy to just “drop in” when you walk by and then not emerge until 8 hours have passed. I’m trying to distance myself from my office a bit more because it’s better for my mind, my body and my creativity to … I don’t know … visit another room in the house every once in a while. I wouldn’t say that spending time playing video games is a situation where I come from a place of “no,” necessarily, but it’s definitely one where I come from a place of, “I shouldn’t”.
But maybe I should?
So this weekend, tired of being jealous of his increasing “Microsoft Gaming Point” balance, I asked Tom to find me an Xbox 360 game that I could handle. Just one – something sort of girly, but not so girly that I’d be braiding Barbie’s hair in it or anything. I have some (very low) standards, but they’re standards nonetheless.
Tom found me two games, downloaded the trial versions and handed me a controller. The first was Beyond Good & Evil HD (which is an old game, from what I gather, but they “digitally remastered it” all Wizard of Oz-like for modern systems). It may only be available as a download, I couldn’t find this “HD” version on Amazon anywhere – only the original Xbox version. He pitched it to me as a female heroine (always a selling point for me), she’s got a camera to take pictures (I’m still listening) and her partner in crime is a big pig named Pey’j (ding ding ding! winner!) I would have preferred he be a hippo, if I’m being honest, but a pig ain’t bad. I played through the trial and didn’t have a panic attack, then immediately shifted into 4-year-old mode where I BEGGED him to buy the full version. Not a tough negotiation since it was only $10. Very much in love, although I feel like a monkey trying to find the right controls all the time. I can type 140WPM on a keyboard but can never remember which button is the “A” button on an Xbox controller without looking at it.
The second game was Beautiful Katamari – which is also a pretty old game (2007). I’d seen Tom play an earlier version of this game (Katamari Damacy) on our Playstation 2 a few years ago but never paid much attention to what the point was. Basically it’s just to roll up a giant ball of “stuff” by running over everything in sight. Sounds pretty easy, but it has routinely shown me who’s boss today. And to make matters worse, I played through 4 or 5 levels this morning then felt my frustration rising so I quit playing and didn’t know I was supposed to manually save it. So I had to go back and re-do the levels when I sat down to play again. One would think it would be easy to retrace my footsteps in the game but I was just as inept the second time as I was the first. The second time I saved my game before quitting – lesson learned, Katamari. Lesson learned.
I have to say that it was nice to be “in the mix” – all three of us camped out in the living room having a good time. When I’d get frustrated, Tom would play for a while. And Nicholas watched and cheered me on (sometimes) as I played. For the most part he’s a bit of a trash-talker. And at several times he said to me “Maybe let Tom try it…” when I couldn’t get past something. Sort of defeats the purpose, kid!
An added perk? I didn’t walk into my office until 8pm tonight. I spent the entire day out in the living room with them, either playing a game, watching them, or reading a book. I guess I really do know how to exist outside my office. Imagine that.
About This Project
New52 is a project started by Christine and I that invites participants to live outside the box a little bit more and try things outside their comfort zone. Sometimes the “new” will present itself to you unwittingly, other times you’ll be seeking it out. My hope is that we can all become inspired by one another’s adventures – perhaps gain the courage to try someone else’s new thing ourselves.
Don’t worry if you’re getting a late start or if you miss a week here and there. New52 isn’t about making a life-altering change every week, it’s about keeping an open mind and embracing little changes in your life. I try to post my New52 entry every Sunday after reflecting on the past week. If you participate this week, please leave a link to your blog post, scrapbook page, photograph or other recorded history of your walk on the wild side in the link list below. You can also post images to our Flickr Group! We would love to see what you were inspired to do.