Gaming: Seduction and Introduction
My husband is a seasoned gamer who glides smoothly through the story line and makes it impossible for me not to look up from my own hobbies to follow along with every single cut scene that comes along. The quality of games has come a long way from the ones I used to love when I was younger, and there is no sign that the progress is ever going to slow down!
I get glued to the games my husband is playing like some kind of awesome interactive movie that lasts as long as we want it to. Before I realize it I find myself pointing out suggestions:
“Try over there!”
“Oh! What did he just do to you? Why? Well get him! I HATE HIM!!! YEAH! Yeah, shoot him in the face! RIGHT IN THE FACE!!! Oh, I didn’t know you could tea-bag them for good measure!” *snort*
“Hey, go back! There’s a cat. Pet that cat! Hey? Hey, Valtiel? Can you pet the cat? Oh, you can! Awe, kitty…”
And those are the games that have subjects I normally wouldn’t seek out on my own. If he picks up a Lego game I might as well give up and kick back to watch the entire game.
It helps that my husband is very patient about my attentions, and he even seems to enjoy it that I get roped into what he’s doing. If you’re reading this and longing for your loved one or pal to get into gaming then I would suggest you start by getting them hooked and interested! Be patient and allow all the questions. Take some time to explore and investigate the things they’re curious about. I loved realizing that there are things to peek my interest and a way to interact with them that makes me feel like a part of the team rather than a nuisance.
I guess that’s as much explanation as you need to put together that I am the newest of N00Bs that there can be. I just never considered that I might ever care to pick up a controller or invest in the systems that came and went over the years. Then my husband turns to me one day, as he had many times in the past, and asks, “Do you wanna try playing one of the games I have?”
This time, however, I pause instead of just giggling at how sweet he is to pretend he wants to play games with a ‘girl’, and I look at him. He’s serious. Has he always been serious? I think so! It finally dawned on me that I’m investing almost as much time in some games as my husband, and I had to ask myself the same question: Do I want to try a game? I was shocked to find that the answer was, “Duh, yeah!” Then my husband croaked in shock. Well, okay. He didn’t croak, but many could probably imagine his surprise after six years of me just watching and leaning away from the controller insecurely every time he asked me. He had already been counting his blessings that I encouraged his gaming and got excited when he gave a bad-guy what they had coming.
So I decided that I would like to start gaming, but where in the heck should I begin? My husband, who I will often refer to now as my ‘gamer sensei’, *snort*, can run circles around me in gaming and would probably wind up carrying us the whole game. I have these horrific daydreams of him sighing deeply in boredom and falling asleep while I’m desperately clicking and twisting away yelping, “Help me again! Come back! Which way do I go? What do I hit again? Where the hell am I???”
He insists this wouldn’t be the case, and maybe it wouldn’t, but first things’ first: How the heck do I use these new fangled controllers? (We’re talking for the PS3, here.) OMG! The last time I played a game they were two-dimensional with one direction to go and a shoot and jump button. Now I wait for Valtiel to walk off so I can stare, wide-eyed, at the two joy sticks and four buttons for each hand- *turns the controller slightly* -I mean SIX buttons for each hand!!!!
I finally broke down and admitted the first reason for my hesitation to my gamer sensei. We talked about what games might be rewarding enough not to be discouraging to me as a beginner. *cough* Kids games *cough* Yet I don’t want to be board with a storyline that won’t hold my attention, either. We have Gamefly, and it really, really is worth it! Games are soooo expensive, especially as quick as Valtiel flies through them, and now I’ll be able to experiment with so many games without fearing making a horrible mistake and being turned off of games in frustration.
Gamer sensei had the answer! “You love the Lego games. I know that in Lego Batman 2 you don’t have to use the top trigger buttons (R-1, R-2, L-1, L-2) much, if any at all, and you can use the directional buttons on the left instead of having to use the joy stick. You also don’t have to move the camera angle. That’s what you’d usually do with the right joy stick. You can use the left joy stick to move as well, however, so you could get familiar with the 3-D game concept with the directional buttons, get acquainted with the four right buttons first, and then much later start using the joy stick to move. Then it won’t be nearly as intimidating.”
If none of that makes sense then have your gamer sensei read it so they’ll be able to understand what types of games they need to suggest that will have the same types of options as Lego Batman 2 that I just explained. I wasn’t really sure what Valtiel was talking about to begin with until I started playing and he explained as we went.
Well, let me tell you: Lego Batman 2 is great! I still am not using the joy stick full-time yet, but I’ve been having so much fun with the choice of Lego Batman 2. Now, my advice for the new gamers and their sensei:
My husband sat with me patiently and gave tips every time I mewled or squeaked and told on the bad guys for chasing me. For all you new gamers out there, I’d say that step one is to start paying attention to the different games that your experienced gamer buddy is going through and allow yourself to get caught up in the fun. For the sensei’s out there, pay attention to the things that ‘hook’ your partner into the game so that you can seduce them into curiosity and make them feel like they’re already part of your team. Use patience and try not to bark at them at all for dozens of questions. Remember that’s a good sign, and you don’t want to spook them into avoiding you and loathing the games that take you away from them. It can easily become a bonding experience rather than a life long relationship battle. Explain what ‘fighting a boss’ means so that you’ll have quick lingo that they’ll understand for you to communicate that you can’t focus for a few minutes or you’ll get frustrated and loose. Remind them that it’s not always like that and that casual game play is okay to explore and communicate with one another.
When the N00B is ready to try a game, you’ll need to pick a game that is light hearted and encouraging. Remember the main point is to become comfortable with the controller to whatever game system you’re planning to start with. I’ll be adding game reviews from an overly positive new gamer’s point of view from time to time along with what I enjoyed about each game and the things I found most confusing and/or difficult about the games.
If you know of games that fit the criteria of the beginner games I’ve been describing, or if you have any suggestions for beginner games, feel free to leave a comment that tells us all which game it is and for what system it’s for. Old or new systems and/or game suggestions are all welcome!
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must get back to exploding Lego bad guys with Lego Superman’s heat-vision stuff!