Monday, December 21, 2009

Communicating with a Strategy Guide

DAY 12

We broke up our play a bit today.  After I got home from holiday shopping with my grandma we played a demo of a racing game. I know what you are thinking: if I am still working on controls what business do I have playing a racing game? Pixel Junk Racers is not a traditional racing game.  To control I used only the right and left of the pad and the right trigger to control speed.  I did not have to delicately maneuver the toggles, which is a nice change.  Although it made me feel like between our DS play of mini-games and this racing game that we are digressing.  John reminded me that we are not playing to get better at gaming but to spend time together.

I neglected to previously mention that the thing that makes this 100 days work is John’s unyielding patience.  He unlocks difficult puzzles, instructs me to equip the best weapons, explains and then re-instructs me on how to pick up items each time we play.  If the roles were reversed and I were teaching him to play games my lack of patience would make 100 days impossible.  But one reason for us to engage in this journey is because our interpersonal roles are reversed. 

John sets up the play screens quickly, like it is second nature to him. We actually play for an hour.  I have noticed for other folks an hour is just enough time to set up a game and read the instruction page, but since John has played most of the games we play together he either knows or has a general idea of what we should be doing.  It is like having my own human strategy guide.

I am a professor by profession and a big mouth by nature.  Anyone who has ever spent more than ten minute in my company knows that I dominate most conversations.  This exercise allows John to be the dominant communicator for at least one hour a day.   And I totally appreciate his ludology expertise.

After watching the finale to Sing-off and getting all excited about NOTA winning we played some Castle Crashers.  We leveled up a few times and killed a disgusting looking cat that throws up fur balls. Then I died trying to use my new spell and John beat the consequent level by himself while I blogged. Today in Castle Crashers John gave me the gift of a pet ram; it is adorable and hopefully brings me food like the owl did.

We are working on our interpersonal skills one hour at a time.  For today I kept my mouth shut and just focused on trying not to die. 


  1. wow I hadn't really noticed, but you actually are kinda quiet when we play games... weird. I could live with the label of human strategy guide. It does help that I've played most of these games a pretty considerable amount though, I'm kinda scared whats gonna happen when we play something new that i've never touched.
    ccb- Hey how do I kill this guy?
    jrb- Um i don't know hit it??
    ccb- I'm doing that...
    jrb- well game?

  2. You are beginning to hit on some crucial marital advice. Love that! Love to you both.

  3. More with the communicating. I think its funny how our gaming habits have changed. Before I would pick a game I have played and then teach you. That still happens a little but most of the games we play in have played for the first time with you. Lord of the Rings is the best. I'm so glad we found that game, it alone could keep us busy for hundreds of days. I think it's a good switch for us to be learning the games together it puts us on equal ground. My comment from all those years hold true though, well except for the "new game" part.