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During one of our first Christmases together, PC gaming came back into our lives. My parents gave us a new computer because we couldn't afford to buy one for ourselves; our new game arrangement was born. Usually I was flopped on the couch in the evening playing a console while behind me at the computer, perched in our dining room alcove. We happily chatted back and forth, sharing the space, but playing our own games. Every now and then, we rotated positions.
Eventually I had enough professional experience to move on to a better paying job and my husband's green card finally arrived, allowing him to be employed. We could finally afford to rent a two bedroom townhouse. Somewhere along the line, we quietly acquired an Xbox 360 without any marital conflict.
In fact, we didn't fight over purchases until my husband decided that he wanted to buy a large plasma TV. Once again, I was confounded by the extravagance. I think that my husband has become cleverer over the years, however; he timed the purchase of the TV with the release of Mass Effect. Once I played on the gigantic TV, there was no going back. He also managed to sneak in a powerful sound system. The acquisition of the TV changed our gaming situation yet again. Now the game systems were in the living room and the computer in the office. We played in our separate spaces. Sitting down to dinner, I remember feeling that I was going to burst from holding in Mass Effect spoilers.
We have come a long way from where we started in terms of our careers, our financial situation, and our relationship. We now own a house with a separate game room. I didn't even flinch when he bought the larger plasma for the dedicated game space. Most nights I sit on the couch in the living room, and play on the second PS3, while he blasts away in the man cave. Every night at dinner, we talk about the games that we're playing, the games that we'd like to make, and the things that we read about games in the media that day. We truly are geeks, which is what brought us together in the first place. This anniversary, I'm hoping for a new computer so that I can build game modules and maybe play a MMOG.
Now, when my husband is up late playing Battlefield: Bad Company 2 online, I like to go lay on a pile of pillows in the game room with him and play "There's A Dude." In this game we invented, I play the spotter for my sniper husband and gleefully shout, "There's a dude!" when I see someone in the bushes. The game usually ends the same. I am woken up by my husband nudging me, saying, "Go to bed," and me mumbling, half-asleep, "No, I like playing with you."
Amanda Yesilbas writes about her personal relationship and opinion of videogames at http://open.salon.com/blog/xxgamer.