Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Of Nerd Princesses and Other Such Nonsense

Yes, you read the title right. I am the Nerd Princess, specifically for Flame Imperishable, a World of Warcraft Guild. For you non-gamers out there, World of Warcraft is an online game, and a guild is just a cool (or nerdy) name for a group of friends who play online together and help each other out. I must admit, I am very new to the gaming scene, as this the first “real” game I’ve ever played. Sure, I rule at Zoo Tycoon, but the Husband says that doesn’t count.

The Husband has been a “gamer” since I have known him. He enjoys spending hours upon end with the warm glow of a monitor shedding the only light in a dark room. I never really understood his gaming addiction until recently.

Why would I not want him to have fun, for crying out loud? He’s my husband – the one that I have chosen to spend the rest of my life with (and vice versa). I would like for that time to be pleasant and fun as much as possible. He doesn’t try to stop me from having fun doing things I like to do. So why would I care if he likes to play computer games? No, gaming is not ‘glamorous’ like playing golf or ‘earthy’ like hunting. It is, however, readily available any time of the day or night and there are no ‘seasons’ to gear up for. He’s at home while he’s gaming, so if I need his help to open a jar of pickles, he’s there. And since he enjoys gaming so much, it’s only natural that he would want me to learn to play some of them as well.

The first game Husband ever tried to get me to play was CounterStrike. I had never played a game like that on the computer, and the controls threw me for a loop. So, Husband controlled the running around part, and “all” I had to do was point and shoot at things. I think by the time our short session was over, we were both suffering from motion sickness. And I don’t think he’s ever laughed at me harder than he did then. That’s ok – I deserved it. I totally sucked at that game.

The next game he got me to try was quite a bit simpler. It was called “Worms” or something like that. Your little worm guys were trying to bomb the other little worm guys on an island. The extent of the controls was a mouse click, arrow keys, and spacebar. I must say, I wasn’t bad at that one. He actually lost a few rounds, although he came out ahead in the end.

Then came the fateful day he told me I should try World of Warcraft. I didn’t really want to – I figured it would be just like my other gaming experiences – hilarious for him, not so hilarious for me. His first clue that he was in way over his head with this was when I took 10 minutes to create my character. Of course I had to have her look just right – hair, eyes, mouth, skin color, etc. I was very unhappy that I couldn’t control her clothing selection. Boy, did she need to go shopping. But then he told me I could buy new clothes in the game. “Nice!” I thought. “I’ll have the best looking outfit ever!” Then I had to name her. Of course, I had to put a lot of thought into it and pick something meaningful. And it was already taken by someone else. So there went another 10 minutes to find a new name.

She was my first creation. I say first because I couldn’t play her very much. She was a warrior and I didn’t care for her aggressive nature; always having to fight stuff. And she had cankles (for those of you who don’t know what cankles are, it’s when your leg goes straight into your foot and there is no real “ankle” there). It didn’t matter what kind of pants or shoes I bought for her, I couldn’t get rid of her cankles. And it bothered me. A lot. So, I left her in an Inn in Elwynn Forrest and created another character; and another, and another. Needless to say, this was all a bit much for Husband, who did not understand my need for an aesthetically pleasing ‘toon. But he didn’t try to tell me how to have fun.

Finally, I settled on my current character, a NightElf Rogue. I enjoy playing the game more than he ever thought I would. I must admit, more than I ever thought I would, too. Husband and I have different styles of game-play. He likes to run around and do stuff all the time; I like to take my time and work on various skills. To each his own, right? And I’m having fun with my newfound Guild mates.

The point is that Husband likes to game, and it’s important to him. I tried it a few times, and now I have come to enjoy certain aspects of it. I have come to understand his affinity for it and am even excited for him that he’s going to The CPL this summer for a 4-day non-stop game-fest. I know it sounds stupid, but just this simple thing has brought us closer. We are having fun together in a way we have never been able to relate before. All because I relented and became the Nerd Princess. Pin It

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