I’m an adult. Everything that goes along with that is included. When I was a teenager (late80′ early 90’s) I played games, but my zeal and love for them didn’t develop until my 20s and 30s. I had a lot more time to dedicate to them then. When I was a teen, it was games like Rygar and R.B.I. baseball. Those games you could pick up and beat and then put down, and then run around outside for hours. Now that I’m in my late 30’s, finding time for writing, baseball, my girlfriend, plus trying to keep up with politics and the world in general is hard. It’s been a continual balancing act for years. I can go days without playing, and I can go days without spending a ton of quality time with my girlfriend too. She’s very busy and we have to struggle to find quality time, and luckily with HBOGO, Netflix and a few quality games (that we’ll go over later) we’re able to schedule time together doing things we both like.
So, after finding some free time this past wednesday, we decided we’d try to find something we could do together. The options were (in my mind anyway) going up highway 75 to Choctaw casino in Durant, OK. We could stay the night because she loves hotels, and spend a few bucks on the slots. Since she loves hotels and to win money, and I love games and Dean Martin, the casino was ideal. There are some cool and quirky slots with a cartoon Dino that plays his songs. Golden! The second option was to look into Dave and Busters. I’d always been hesitant to go anyplace that was called an adult Chucky Cheese. The douche factor in Dallas is high enough anywhere you go daily, and I REALLY don’t want to go to someplace where they can be more douchey. But I digress. I decided to look into Dave and Buster’s and found that they have half-price wednesdays. Games, drinks etc. are half priced. Okay, we decide to do this instead of the casino.
We pull up to D&B’s and are immediately smacked with the realization that we are in Dallas Douche town. The parking lot is littered with various empty bottles and mis-parked cars. The lights were very reminiscent of Casinos as well. Cut to later on-we purchased 100 credits or tokens, and had a drink and meal at the bar. The only thing I’ll point out about the bar is the huge and multiple beer bong devices that were 4-feet tall with taps. Yep, it was that kind of place. Anyway, on to the fun.
We started off with a bit of skeeball. The classic game of rolling wooden balls that everyone loves and remembers. My girlfriend and I playfully compete and then move on to a Batman sit down driving/shooting game that is a super fun on rails shooter. The voice acting is solid and campy, and you get a huge selection of bat-mobiles. The game is way too on the rails, but considering I’m out with my girlfriend for fun, she watched and we had a great time. Rumbling all around me and a feast of eye candy keep us both thoroughly entertained for nearly half an hour. Once we were done, we decided to have one more go at finding something we both could do. That’s when we found our couple’s nirvana; Dark Escape 4D.
My girlfriend Kris is a fright-prone young lady. I spend a good amount of time creeping around our house scaring her and setting up elaborate ways to pull pranks. So I would be super excited to find an opportunity to see her scared. She isn’t exactly the gaming type, but she was pumped for this. Yay for life! THIS is why I am with this woman! The gaming unit is an enclosed box with curtains. You sit down, put on 3D glasses and grab your gun. You start with a bit of backstory where you follow around a Resident Evil knockoff girl, who is rendered in a Silent Hill style, and before you know it you’re off. We’re both waiting for the action to happen, and it doesn’t take long as we are quickly jolted by an onscreen zombie. Kris screams as our surroundings shake violently and her bullets spray all over the 3D background. I am more calm, but not by much. The entire game is little breaths, and then tense moments of terror. An onscreen meter tracks your pulse through the gun you hold too. What a cool touch, though I was surprised how ‘panicked’ how I was throughout the game.The experience was like being in a video game haunted house. Monsters lunged in 3D, growls exploded in our ears, and wind shot into our faces. At the end of every session, the game tells you how many time you became panicked on a scale of ten. I was 4/10 both times and I think she was 8/10 and 9/10. Hurray for video games. Wow. We pumped 30 minutes and who knows how many credits into this experience. I wish I had one in my home.
So after all of that, my point is that there are ways to interact with your family and friends who aren’t really gamers. You can be a part of society too. For times like this, you just have to bite the proverbial bullet and trek on through the ‘normals’ and douches.
Below I’m adding a few activities that I’ve found I can do with my girlfriend in our free time that allows us to spend time and scratch our individual itches.
Walking Dead-We both love the TV series, and I love the comics. We play this one together by me handling the sticks and her helping with the decisions. It’s amazing how impactful this can be for us. We discuss the decisions and possible things to happen in the future for an hour sometimes. We enjoy it more than the TV show or something like Boardwalk Empire.
The Wolf Among us-The same thing with this game. We actually went out and bought some of the comics after playing the first episode (thanks Keith’s comics.) This one is more cartoonish, but somehow darker. Perhaps it’s because there is some sort of civilization in this world, albeit a pretend fairy tale district in a pretend New York. Kris actually learned about me through the decisions I made in this one. There was a decision I had to make as Bigby Wolf that made her cringe and made me show my teeth. She looked at me with genuine disbelief, and I responded with “He would have done that. He’s the big bad wolf and the rules are different here.”
HBOGO and Netflix
We have found our free time centered around my Xbox-360, and we’re okay with that. Boardwalk Empire, Treme and the Sopranos have all opened up great new music, books and other adventures that we wouldn’t have found otherwise. Netlflix is in three rooms of our house and Frasier, Glee or any number of documentaries can be heard or seen at any time.
Hope you enjoyed reading and found something that will help finding time for your family friends etc.