24

Fine Balance

June 29, 2020 by Tim

You know when you show a friend a movie you really like, and you just spend the entire time watching them out of the corner of their eye to make sure they’re enjoying it? No? Just me?

Well, whenever I’m playing a game with someone, I become SUPER conscious of how I’m playing and spend a lot of the time imagining how the game is being perceived from a spectator standpoint. I’d guess people who stream for a living do that quite a bit, but I do it in my living room with, like, one other person. With my friends it’s minimal, because they play a lot of games and you know… sometimes you have to play in a way that’s fun for you but no fun to watch.

My wife, however, doesn’t play as many games as I do, so when she’s interested in a game I’m playing, I become way more concerned with whether the experience is entertaining for her, because I like it when she enjoys the games as much as I do. SHE doesn’t care, mind you, if I’m spending ten minutes looking for a safe code, or restarting an encounter six times because I *know* I can do it without setting off an alarm once I get the timing right… but inside my head I tend to freak out whether it’s getting boring to watch or not.


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foducool
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foducool

play the story line, then come back later when your audience isn’t there to turn over every stone and check every shadow

Boltasar
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Boltasar

That only works if you are certain that the story won’t decide to lock you out of the area later.

SuperSyrias
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SuperSyrias

save games? just save very very often.
also: play the game in story watch mode once. then replay in i need to find everything mode.

leduk
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leduk

it depends of the game. Anyway I’m glad my wife is a gamer, and we’re now both on pc. VERY easier.

Ste
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Ste

I know that feeling very well, particularly from Final Fantasy games.

I often end up saving and then doing main storyline stuff, just so there’s something interesting on the screen. Which is pretty silly, but hey.

I’m also right there with you on the watching a film together thing. It’s even worse if we’re watching a stand-up comedy show or something, I end up spending most of it checking whether the other person is laughing at all the right points!

ValentinesAshes
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ValentinesAshes

Oh, that’s nothing. You should try playing something like a Mass Effect romance subplot in front of a significant other who doesn’t really understand RPGs, nor the appeal of video games in general. Using Tim’s tightrope analogy, I’d be on the ground, the rope having snapped, crushed under the additional weight of silent judgement… or perhaps having been shot down with awkward questions that only have ‘wrong’ answers.

Anon A Mouse
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Anon A Mouse

The “least wrong” answer is “I just want them to have as good a relationship as WE have.” and hope that no “real” conflicts happen to show up in the game dialogue (like doing dishes).

Kevin Greenbaum
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Kevin Greenbaum

Sounds like getting caught playing Catherine, lol.

Craig
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Craig

I have the exact opposite problem: My wife will point out every nook and corner and shadow that I have missed, and I shouldn’t go on until I have explored EVERY segment of the map.

Okay, maybe not “problem,” so much as “aid.” The woman has eyes like a hawk when it comes to video game secrets, I swear.

Urazz
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Urazz

I see how it is, you are bragging that you have a wife that is the perfect gaming companion then. How dare you gloat about that and rub it in our faces. XD

PapaVanTwee
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PapaVanTwee

Congratulations. You have the ability to stream games online!

Dan I
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Dan I

My wife and I tend to make a joke out of it. “Up just killed all these dudes, now to defile their corpses search for 5 gold pieces.”

Kenju
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Kenju

Oh lord, I know this, I know this too well. We only have one tv in our house, so my parents watch me play games sometimes when they are bored, which is ironic as they generally find watching me play to be even more boring due to how I spend hours searching everywhere for anything.

They got a kick out of watching me die over and over playing Demons Souls/Dark Souls/Bloodborne though lol

Dan
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Dan

The trick is to have your wife on her laptop with the wiki open to provide plot clarifications.

Launchpadius
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Launchpadius

This reminds me of one of my friends. She always loved to watch me play games, but HATED to watch the story aspects of it and always wanted me to skip those if possible. I was like, nah not gonna happen, because I love the story part.

Joe
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Joe

i “played” metal gear solid purely as an expectator. Had a blast. The whole game could as well be a movie. My only concern was that my brother deliverately let himself beg for mercy when tortured and doomed the girl – riding over the sunset with otakon somehow lacked punch, BTW, spoiler altert ๐Ÿ™‚

DanVzare
Guest

I’m basically doing the same thing with the Dragon Quest series, and I can safely say that the person watching me play through them all, doesn’t give a crap how I play. Even the grinding which I personally find boring, they find relaxing.

Freddoe
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Freddoe

Or, in equation form, boring + don’t have to do it = relaxing

Admiral Casual
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Admiral Casual

Hey, Tim. Maybe your wife is entertained because you do those things. Watching you learn and adapt from the encounter you do six times over, or scanning the screen for that safe code with you. She may not want to play, but she’s experiencing this right along with you.

Timothy
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Timothy

โ€œ You know when you show a friend a movie you really like, and you just spend the entire time watching them out of the corner of their eye to make sure theyโ€™re enjoying it? No? Just me?โ€
I do the same thing

Volguus
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Volguus

Last movie I did this with was Sucker Punch, extended cut. It did not turn out well.

Diogo Salazar
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Diogo Salazar

Been there, done that

Leon
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Leon

Play for fun, not perfection

Kevin Greenbaum
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Kevin Greenbaum

I know the movie feeling, it’s not just you. As for games like that, be it FF or TLOU2, I play when nobodies around so I don’t have any distractions, so I don’t know the pain you have with the gaming side of things….(I don’t have kids and I’m single, so I have these luxuries)

Robert Loughrey
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Robert Loughrey

We need a comic about teaching a spouse that First Person/3D games dont need to make you motion sick.

Scortch
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Scortch

Same here with my wife and girls. A lot of times, I will do color commentary at parts just to make sure the interest doesn’t wane.

Otakurogue
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Otakurogue

I feel this. Playing the last of us with my wife her sister and the sister’s husband.

Timmeh
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Timmeh

Oh man, this is me and my wife!!

Dom
Guest
Dom

Aww Tim. You’re such a sweet guy. โ˜บ
That just means you care about others. ๐Ÿ’

Kix Acelot
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Kix Acelot

We just experienced the opposite last night. My wife decided to try Subnautica (since the kids are playing Subnautica 2). She is not a gamer but will play an occasional game. She spent the entire time being told to look in every nook and cranny while simply wanting to swim around and enjoy the beauty of the game. She grew tired of the too frequent “turn around and go get that!” from our kids.

Phil
Guest
Phil

Have you tried to narrate what you are doing? I mean like a streamer would when its less active on stream. I don’t know if its a good idea.