The Granny Gamer
Alright, I admit it, I am a Gamer.
If I think about it, I always have been.
From the first Commodore 64 when I learned to code Bojangles to dance across the screen to Atari’s Pong and Asteroid. I never really quit playing. I wouldn’t want to know how many quarters I dumped in to beat Donkey Kong. I beat Super Mario before I had my first child. Then played with my kids while they were growing up. Rayman, Spyro, you name it. We had fun when we could. But then they grew up and got on with their own lives and I really didn’t have an excuse to play. Or the time, really. I was working a 12 hour a day job.
Then I had a grandson. Turns out, he doesn’t mind playing games with Grandma. Though, in the beginning, he was highly condescending. He assumed that, because of my advanced age, I was gaming illiterate. We started off with me sending him Little Big Planet for an old console, I still adore this game! Then they upgraded to an Xbox and a whole new world opened.
Gaming has changed, drastically, and for the better in a lot of ways. The graphics, the options, the NPC’s, the AI capabilities. How on earth could I resist?
The answer is, I didn’t really even try.
I had to buy an Xbox because our old Play Station was outdated and incompatible with his new system. It came with Sea of Thieves (and SoT Insider) and Fortnite. The attitude of my grandson changed substantially, he had aged a few years, but he’d progressed game-wise and assumed I hadn’t. He kept trying to talk me through things like I was a 3-year-old who hadn’t ever played beyond LBP. Wrong…
Okay, let’s get something straight here, the graphics on Sea of Thieves is freaking amazing. I hopped on a small ship and spent time just cruising around the ocean, reveling in the sound of the waves, the detail, everything. I wish I could VR it. I’m a history nut and part of history are these brilliant pieces of engineering that took us all over the globe. I’ve been on several ships, two and three masts out on the ocean many times. The programmers got it right. I sometimes go and just cruise as a bit of escapism, it’s that good.
The second time I played it with my grandson. His idea of playing it was just to run around killing everything- friend or foe- and not following the storyline at all. He even blew up our own ship, just for fun. He wasn’t enjoying the game at all and he blamed the game for it. I’m a granny, yes- and granny’s have a reputation of spoiling their grandkids. I’m guilty of that, to an extent, but this granny straight up told him it wasn’t the game that was the issue. He wasn’t taking the time to LEARN the game. He did the bare-bones basic to play; get a mission and sail off. He tried to explain to me that it was impossible to properly dock a ship. You had to drop anchor then swim ashore. The level of respect when I slid our ship into the dock perfectly was sizable.
Once at an island, he was unable to find the treasure because he didn’t know how to read the map. Once he was done running amok killing all the pirates, he was ready to move on. Blowing up and killing everything else in the process. On one voyage we had another player who had tamed a parrot that they proceeded to shoot out of the cannon repeatedly. Laughing hysterically at its fiery demise while waiting for it to respawn.
We had to have a serious chat.
This wasn’t playing the game. This was random acts of terror that he thought was acceptable because “they were not real”. I knew for a fact his parents didn’t approve of it, though I didn’t snitch. I’m not that kind of granny. I just flat out told him that if he wasn’t going to play the game as intended, was going to insist on ruining the game for others (by killing them off) instead of doing missions, and he was going to go around finding animals to kill, I wasn’t going to be playing. Period.
Which really ticks me off. I get it, I do, they put it in the game because that was” real life” as a pirate. I’m not saying other people can’t do as they wish, I’m just saying that I’m not that guy and I won’t play with that guy either. I don’t attack random ships just to steal their booty. I’ve been attacked by a few and I respond with force. I’ve yet to be taken down.
Which, in itself, was a serious surprise for my grandson. He didn’t expect Granny to know how to sail a ship, handle a sword, or shoot a cannon. After all, I’m OLD and OLD people don’t do electronics or games. He soon learned that Granny isn’t someone you want to mess with. Listening to him try to explain that to another player was extremely enlightening and a bit amusing. Not every grandkid has to explain that their granny is a badass and will boot you.
Sea of Thieves was enough to engage my curiosity about these games. Though I wanted something less reliant on playing with others. I also, as much as I do still enjoy games like Rayman, wanted the newer games. The immersive, complex storylines, varied NPC’s, type of game. I haven’t even tried Fortnite yet. I’m not really into first-person shooter war simulations. I know too much of war to find that enjoyable. I’m not saying I never will, in fact, I probably will just to see what the hype is about.
Now that I am home full time, wings clipped thanks to EDS, I have time. Well, a bit of time. I’m still on the clock to finish that 5 book series. Which I should be doing right now but….
So, I picked up Witcher 3- The Wild Hunt and Ori- The Will of the Wisps. I wanted one gritty and real, the other more fantasy play. Meanwhile, the grandson and I have worlds on Minecraft and Ark Survival. Ark is another one where Granny showed skills and gained respect points. We regularly blast both Plants and Zombies in Garden Warfare 2 and have nearly run through all of Human Fall Flat. Human Fall Flat is another great game where he learned that Granny isn’t as dumb as he assumed. The fun part of HFF and Ark is listening to him play with his friends and show off all the “cool things” that HE had figured out. Ah, well, can’t blame the kid for taking credit.
Next time I’ll write about Witcher 3. I’ve got about 120 hours in on that one.