On any given day if you launched into a random conversation with me about video games I would be unusually smug. Not a fan of hours lost in the land of light saber duels, evil sorcerers and mindless killing, video games are as far down on my to-do list as cleaning other people’s toilets.
Yes, it’s true. Ken has been known to create worlds or even lead teams on a video game project or two. I sound like an ungrateful hag when you learn that we spent a good, fun and super interesting five years and got to meet Yoda in San Francisco while he worked for LucasArts (George Lucas’ video game division) and we found each other because of a cool Seattle video game start-up where Ken was the studio art director.
Video games have pretty much been the cornerstone of our married life. I loathe them.
I could seriously count on one hand the number of video games I have played in the last 10 years, and the number of times I’ve played them. I dig checkers and Scrabble. Anything that makes me stress and my heart race while playing gets instantly turfed. Why the hell would I play a game that makes me insanely tense and frustrated? Parenthood accomplishes that on most days just fine.
Then, Cows Vs. Aliens showed up on our IPad.
When Ken first downloaded it for our oldest daughter, I resisted. They laughed and giggled and had an incredibly fun time getting into the game – which is pretty much trying to save as many cows as possible from the aliens trying to abduct them.
I was – of course – smug. Why? Why would I give in to the insanity and spend my evenings herding electronic animals escaping impending annihilation?
Then, our daughter challenged me to a cow catching duel. How could I resist that sweet face and the chance to kick her butt:)?
I stopped playing five hours later. She’d finished in 30 minutes and moved on. I stayed up until 1 a.m.
These cows had me hooked. I caught myself sneaking upstairs with the IPad at night to save a few thousand more cows from an untimely death. Then, it became about unlocking new levels.
I was doing it, of course, for my daughter. She’d be so excited. Really, it was all about her.
Precious sleep time would be lost in pursuit of cow-hungry martians. I couldn’t stop. They had invaded…my soul.
It was at this point where I had to go back to more than a few mom friends and distribute a much-needed letter of apology. I would have apologized personally to all of them. But, I had made so much fun of Bubble Witch and Farmville that really it was most time conscious to just send out a blanket letter of humble regret for my obvious lack of understanding when it came to the video game loving universe.
Cows vs. Aliens had brought me a much-needed mental break from the pressure of life. I literally could sit back and save some cows and even occasionally have a work epiphany or two. I still find myself having to follow up an evening of IPad gaming with a hefty dose of CBC radio just to rationalize my ongoing lust for life as a cow rescuer, but me and video games have come to happy medium.
I’ve dumped the smug loathing for a less hard line stance.
I mean, really, if I continue down this road who’s going to care for these bovines? Who’s going to rid them of those evil aliens? Who is going to support my husband’s career choice?
Ah, thank you Cows vs. Aliens. I needed another dent in my willpower and excuse for waning productivity, really. Ummmm, no. But, I love you anyway.