Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Video games and being awesome

I cannot play video games. First-person shooter games make me wish I could turn the gun on myself. I am invariably last in racing games. Even Frogger defeats me. Moreover, I never really had an interest in them when I was growing up.

This has actually had an impact on my relationships. In fourth grade I made a fool of myself playing a soccer video game with a boy I liked. In high school, I spent a lot of time squished on the edge a couch while my boyfriend, his buddies, and their girlfriends chased each other around various courses. Sometimes I napped.

I was not an Awesome Girlfriend. Because my hands turned into donkey hooves when I held a controller, I could never be as cool or epic or sexy as a girl who's good (but not too good) at driving a car and shooting zombies. A girlfriend who plays video games is exponentially more attractive than one who can't navigate a frog across a street.

This came up a few nights ago. Jim found an admittedly fun-looking game on Xbox Live - a plane-chase game based on the Peanuts characters. He asked me to play. I said no, I said no, and then I got insecure. If I keep saying no, then I am a Downer Girlfriend again. I'm always saying no. So I agreed to play.

Of course it was a shit show. I couldn't move the plane where I needed to and Jim was (literally) flying circles around me. I got more and more frustrated and all I could think about was how I am not epic, I am not awesome, I blow really hard at a very simple hand-eye coordination task. I was in tears.

I know Jim does not base his love for me on my Call of Duty or Modern Warfare performance. But I think my inability to play video games taps into a big fear I've always had in relationships - that I'm simply too dull to sustain someone's interest.

Do you have a relationship fear or worry as silly as this one?


Frugalista said...

I suck at video games personally. I was pretty good at Super Mario Bros back in the day but that was about it for me. If it's shooting or racing or anything else I feel like I'm just hitting buttons uselessly. Rest assured that being good at video games does not a good girlfriend make. I am certain you have other good qualities of way more value then video gaming will ever be!!

Sarah (your sister) said...

Most of the time when Zac would play video games, I would be the navigator. I used to get him killed on purpose in Grand Theft Auto because it was more amusing to me. And also because I'm an asshole.

Once we played a one-on-one street-fighter game. I kicked his ass, repeatedly, because I would find one simple button and keep pressing it.

Come to think of it, I don't think we ever played that one again... :D

Kristina said...

I actually love that my partner is a video-game fiend and that I don't have to play/participate/watch or whatever. It's not really a "hobby" of his, but something that he enjoys, while I have other interests/vices/whatevers. I would say that you get girlfriend of the year award for even trying!

Misty said...

Ugh! I'm awful at video games as well! My idea of a good video game is Sudoku on my Nintendo DS or a find-it game on the computer. But my new worry, even though we're both very happy and married, is that since he works with female soldiers he'll start to find me less appealing because I don't wear the uniform too. Which I know is absolutely ridiculous but it's just a recent insecurity that I've developed since I've met some of the women that he works with. And 99% of them are amazing both as soldiers and as civilians.

!! Sometimes that little voice should just shove it!