Thursday, December 17, 2009

Communicating with a Meat Shield


No one warns you that when you become a parent minutes turn into hours and hours into days.  We have survived the first week of play. It seems like a month but really it has only been 7 days. 

This morning I watched John play Dragon Age.  He got it in the mail today from the Gamfly account that he swore to me was long cancelled (insert nod of annoyed wife). It was very pretty.  Even though this was not part of our hour, I wanted to mention it because I actually paid attention. Rather than feigning interest or finding another task while he uses the TV I actually became engrossed in the game he was playing.  This is one behavioral change that is already evident from our 100-day commitment.

Tonight we went back to the beginning and played Borderlands again.  Saying I am getting better at first person shooters is like saying I am getting better at cooking.  The end result may be burnt but I get an A for effort. John will eat whatever I cook no matter how burnt and questionable the end result; his appetite for first-person shooters has not yet been dulled by my lack of skill. 

His attempts at giving instruction in Borderlands are actually funny.  We have been using the 360 a lot more the last few days and so switching back and forth between controllers is confusing for me.  He asked me how he should refer to the buttons so I know which ones to push and even I was at a loss.  People have scoffed that video games are not a form of communication. Performing tasks with time restraints while learning an interface is a difficult task.  Doing all that while trying to find the words to help a partner learn and succeed together is near impossible.

Today John added a new moniker of “meat shield” to his terms of endearment for me.  I am playing as “Brick” the beserker and often just charge the enemy.  Since I equip a shotgun John let me know it would be best for me to run ahead and clear a path.  It took a few encounters and his kiss on the forehead after calling me “meat shield” for me to realize he was using me as cannon fodder.  I am not mad since he has resurrected me or helped bring me back from the brink of death a quite a few times.  Choosing to play the berserker role sets up the game for me to position myself as human wall. 

I started my blog today talking about how parenthood makes the days seem longer.  As a parent you are tasked to accomplish so much each day that time becomes relative.  When we played Borderlands today time just flew by.  Our next quest John remembered as a particular challenge and when we checked the time we realized we were far past our requirement. 

I hope that we continue to enjoy one another so that time passes without notice; That we refine our communication both during and after gaming; That we make it through these 100 days. 


  1. I use the term meatsheild in the most loving and endearing way, and I'm not using you as cannon fodder its a teaching experience...really...

  2. Lol, Meatshield I think it's funny how somethings change and others don't. In Diablo you immediately were drawn to the character Nate made who is huge with lots of armor (also named BigAxe) and i was using a monk or my demon hunter. But when we played that new rpg BESM with out talking to each other I made a big bruiser guy and you made a brainy mechanic.
    I like the bit about communication, we, well I learn new ways to communicate every day. I have realized that has been the problem all along me not talking. I bottle everything up, get scared and close up, get angry and run away but I never just talk to you. This is me trying. I hope it's not too little too late because that would make a sad end to our ducked up story.