Of Love and Games

Of Love and Games
Forbidden Love?

Barry White | 10 Feb 2009 12:31
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As I've grown up and played more games, I've learned to shed my hang-ups. But while it can be fun to talk about games with people who don't play them, it's not really enough. The best way to share with them is to sit down and play together. It's the only way to properly understand the appeal. And that's why Jen the Pyro - my Pyro - is so special. When we moved in together, she would sit and watch me play games. She always asked me questions, encouraging me to tell her about what kind of game I was playing or what I was up to in the game world. She was actually interested, which in itself was a shock, but bit by bit she got me to open up to her about games. I'd regale her with tales of ridiculous slow-motion gunfights in Stranglehold and the intricacies of the TF2 character taunts. Then, one day, she asked me if she could play too. We've never looked back.

I loved games before I loved her, but now it's hard to separate the two in my mind. She has her own PC now, her own Gamertag and Steam ID. She's become a gamer in her own right, something I never imagined would happen. And it's because she loved me enough to want me to share these experiences with her. Now every time we log onto a server together and start fragging and trash-talking one another, I think we get a little bit closer - cheap backstabs notwithstanding.

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Being able to share something that inspires immense passion and love in my life with the love of my life is a source of constant joy to both of us. So if you're embarrassed or afraid of what some still think of as a juvenile activity, you shouldn't be. If you love games, share them with the people you love.

Back to Badwater. It's been a hell of a fight the entire time. There's 40 seconds left on the clock and my team has finally got the cart down into the basin. We're mere feet from the finish and I'm doing my best to sap the Red defenses when I spot another target of opportunity. It's an enemy Heavy, camping the cart and using it for cover so we can't rush it. My team is preparing to make its final push. Without a moment's hesitation, I close the gap and drop my cloak, my blade practically quivering in anticipation. That is, until I hear the whoosh of a flamethrower behind me. I don't even have time to turn around. The Heavy lives, and goes on to stall our assault til the clock runs out. The kill cam snaps back and freezes over my crispy corpse, and sure enough, there's my Pyro standing over it, her flamer raised high above her head in a triumphant taunt.

I laugh out loud. Where there'd normally be rage, I feel only love. Well, mostly love. I strike a function key to capture the moment - my two loves in still life.

Barry White is a freelance writer based in Ireland, where he's one of the editors of Citizen Game. He took up writing about games to justify playing them all day. Contact him at imperial[dot]creed[at]gmail[dot]com.

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