Posted in Writing

The Joys of Co-operative Gaming

The title of this post is somewhat misleading as it implies that co-op gaming with my boyfriend Billy is a predominantly joyful experience. In reality it consists of me trying to play Xbox with one hand, the other one clenched in a fist and lodged between my teeth in order to prevent myself from punching him in the fucking face. For example, our games always begin with Billy ‘testing his equipment’.  This involves him shooting me in the face, I then mistakenly think I’m being attacked by an enemy and shit myself.  Hilarious.  Despite all this, we like to play co-op games quite a lot as it prevents arguments over who’s turn it is to play. It doesn’t, however, prevent arguments over literally everything else: weapons, money, armour, who’s driving the warthog, etc.

In terms of character, Billy will always pick the warrior. He likes to grab a shotgun and go wading in about enemies firing willy-nilly until they are all dead. I am always either a sniper or a Mage, capable of eye-wateringly accurate annihilation (as long as it is really, really far away, eye-wateringly accurate annihilation). This set-up all started with Balder’s Gate when Billy suggested I just “stand over there and help………….yeah further ………… further ……………. a bit further ……… that’s good, stay there”. When I pointed out that I was now in a different village and couldn’t actually see anything he responded with a distracted “Wow, yeah that’s great. Good for you!” and a couple of affectionate pats on the head.

There are times however, when I will be on a bridge/cliff in full view of Billy and his relentless heroism, watching him get a boner over a boss that he has just killed ‘on his own’. In reality I had my sniper at the ready and had launched at least five head shots and countless on-target grenades. I would even go so far as to say that I pretty much killed the boss ‘on my own’. When I try to share this information he usually responds with a distracted “Wow, yeah that’s great. Good for you!” and a couple of affectionate pats on the head.

The problem with being a distance fighter is that once everything that can be killed is dead, it takes a while for me to catch up to Billy. By the time I do he has managed to open every single chest, loot every body in sight and has hit the shops in order to sell all his new found merchandise, leaving me with no rewards. Once in a while he will miss a chest and I get hardcore over-excited. I take my time, open my inventory and have a little think about things. If my inventory is full then it becomes even more of a challenge because I have to drop my least profitable weapons to ensure that my backpack is full to its most valuable capacity. Once I have decided what to do, I come out of my inventory and…………….wait a fucking minute, the guns have gone……….the chest is fucking empty! I slowly turn my character around and there he is, nose to nose, saying something along the lines of “What? Well, you gotta learn Jillian, you snooze you lose” before shooting me in the face and skipping away in a fit of hysterical laughter.  This is pretty much my breaking point and I get my game rage on, refusing to un-pause the game until he gives me something to sell or use.  Usually a shitty revolver.  Who even uses revolvers?  The shopkeepers don’t even want them!

So you see, although co-operative gaming is an integral part of our relationship, it generally consists of me trying to think of ways to bring him down.  And I will.  I will destroy him.  I will destroy him and his weapon thieving, head patting, smug skipping, face shooting, violence inducing ways. Right after I help him with the Nightfall level of Halo Reach.  He’s stuck and he needs a sniper…………and I secretly love the banter.  Go team!

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