While some of you might have very specific regrets related to specific games (romancing the wrong character, not finishing all the side quests, etc.), I realized that my biggest gaming regret is actually very general.
I regret not playing more video games.
As I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this blog, I came to video games rather late. Sure, I played NES with my brother and sister in the early nineties and had flirtations with certain arcade fighting games and the odd match of Wolfenstein with my high school boyfriend, but never in my life had I considered myself a “gamer.”
The closest I ever came was while dating Stephen (name changed to protect the innocent) when I was 20. He was a friend of a friend, smart, and a dedicated, died in the wool GAMER. He constantly bemoaned his lack of a better rig, subscribed to all the game magazines of the day and even had a part-time job at the local EB Games.
My being a gamer was far from being a prerequisite for us dating, but it was clear from the get-go that this was a lifestyle for him and my participating in his hobby of choice would certainly bring us closer. And I tried. For a little while. He lent me his copy of Grim Fandango to play on my own and I distinctly remember struggling with the tank controls to get Manny to open a stupid drawer and then giving up after not being able to figure out what to do in the garage. I know. Not one of my finer moments.
After agreeing that maybe adventure games were not actually the way to go for me, we did try a few tournament games that I enjoyed, even if I was pathetic at them. I read PC Gamer magazine on the can and learned all about the hot new releases I lacked the technical skills to actually enjoy. I wanted desperately to be part of the culture, I just didn’t see my way in. I realize now that what I really wanted was to play with Stephen, but he was a PC gamer and pretty much all of his games were single player.
This was before Steam, before WoW even. Who knows, maybe if I had deigned to give Evercrack, as we used to call it, a try things would have been different. But as it was, we never really put the work in to find a game I could enjoy.
For some reason we never even attempted console gaming. I do remember that he bought a PS2 late into our courtship, but I don’t recall playing any games on it together. I’m not even sure if he had other consoles, or whether he just considered them too low-tech to bother with. Or maybe he just assumed I wasn’t cut out to be a “gamer-girl.” Maybe he was right.
For a long time I blamed Stephen’s gaming for our breakup, but with hindsight it’s obvious that the real reason we broke up was that we were 20. I held onto this idea for so long though, that I actually prohibited my first husband from getting a console while we were together. And my video game hate continued until I found myself years later in Montreal, starting one of the few jobs available to someone with my limited skills: video game translator.
It was while at this job that I actually managed to develop some video game skills, discover genres that appealed to me (RPGs, puzzle games, and of course, button mashers). I even met my current husband while working there, which is what inspired this blog.
But I guess, more than not playing enough games, what I really regret most of all is how things between Stephen and I fell apart. It wasn’t his fault. It wasn’t video games’ fault. It was bound to happen sooner or later.
I know he sometimes reads this blog and probably cracks up at the idea that I call myself Gamerwife now. Oh well.
You live, you learn, right?
Next month’s prompt is: My Dream Game