There’s a video game coming out this Friday called Skyrim, and apparently it is going to significantly alter life as I know it. I’ve been hearing about this game for months, though I didn’t really pay much attention to what was being said, until this week… A few days ago I was informed by my 37 year old boyfriend (yes, 37) that this game was coming out that he’s been waiting months (years?) for, he was so excited and was apologizing in advance for the ridiculous amount of time playing this game was going to consume, but he would still find time for me. I thought he was kidding. He wasn’t. And he’s getting the game when it comes out on Friday, but won’t play it until Monday, so we can spend the weekend together. Hmm…
Later that night, my son came out of his room, and said “Hey Mom, don’t forget, Skyrim is coming out this week, you need to pre-order it now!” I’m like, what’s Skyrim, and really? He looks at me like I’m a complete idiot, and says I’ve been telling you about it for months, and so has your BF, hello? And then the light goes on, they’ve both been talking about the same game?!! So now my son is telling me that I better not make any plans this weekend that involve him, because he is NOT going to leave his room, all he plans on doing is playing the new game. Now, I’m starting to recall hearing something about all of this previously, but as I don’t give a shit about video games, I didn’t retain any of it. But the frantic obsession that they BOTH were exhibiting suddenly began to freak me out. So I start thinking, okay cool, they both want to play, they can play together and have fun boy bonding time… and I can do other, actually productive things! But no, I’ve just been informed it’s a one player game, fantasy shattered. Honestly, I do like playing some video games, Rock Band is fun, and I definitely spent more than a few hours playing Atari as a kid. But a whole weekend, or an entire week?? What is wrong with BOYS???
As far as my son is concerned, I think back to where the madness all started, when did I lose him to the Xbox? I blame my father for buying him his first one when he was 8. And I blame our old neighbors, the good Christian family who let their twin sons play Halo. I got totally blindsided by that one. My son and their boys were inseparable, and they had this game, this shooting game, which my son desperately wanted to play with them. I was totally anti-gun, and not cool with him playing anything violent, so for the longest time he would just watch them play. But he begged and begged, and these parents were smart, GOOD people, and their kids were such angels, maybe it wasn’t so bad? I mean, would they really let their kids play something that was that bad?
Maybe I had to loosen up a bit on all of my hippy-ish peace and love ideologies, so that my son wouldn’t be the only kid on the planet who couldn’t play this game, which is what he pointed out to me over and over again. Yeah, can you say spineless? I caved. And I was wrong. The game was that bad. The good, uber-religious parents most definitely did let their kids play a game that was THAT bad. My kid wanted to be an artist when he grew up, theirs wanted to be a cop and a Marine. I probably should have caught on earlier that we were raising our kids a little bit differently… Ugh. It was the beginning of the end, and it was like a freight train I couldn’t stop.
I have said no to many games over the years since then, for what it’s worth. Though I’m relatively certain I hear him using a machine gun on some zombies right now. But you know what, at the end of the day, when he’s playing the games he’s here, he’s not out getting into trouble or doing anything stupid, he’s online playing with his friends, and yes, they’re shooting zombies. And the real truth is, I love the sound of him chatting and laughing with machine guns in the background, because that’s what our home sounds like when he’s here, and that makes me very happy.
As for my boyfriend, well… Have you seen that McRibb commercial where the couple is going on their honeymoon, and the wife says, “I married a 14 year old?” Yeah, umm, that could probably be us, in more ways than one. He made me eat a McRibb just the other day… (which I may or may not have loved).