Family Time–Better with Plasma Grenades

Jaysen, you shoot me in the butt ONE MORE TIME…

Ah, it’s the holiday season. My favorite time of year. Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful, and I hope you will take a moment to check out my Mansfield Magazine post Choosing an Attitude of Gratitude. We are supremely fortunate in this country, and I feel it is VERY important for us to count our many blessings. A roof over our head, plenty to eat, freedom, democracy…AND NEW VIDEO GAMES. My opinion? EA and EPIC games are Santa for grownups, and most of the best games are released this time of year.  Black Ops 2, Army of Two–The Devil’s Cartel (yeah, they had me at “Devil”), and the new HALO FOUR! This is my favorite season for many reasons, but gaming with my family is definitely a highlight.

I was not always this way.

Seven years ago, my brother told me of this device called the X-Box. I was not interested in his silly reindeer games. Like many other Gen Xers, I grew up on Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, Centipede and Pac-Man, etc. Yes, these games were addictive, but they almost too accurately mirrored life. They started out new and fun and slow and then just got faster and faster and faster UNTIL YOU DIED. So when my brother approached me about playing a game known as HALO, I only agreed to play to shut him up.

Jaysen, where are you? Someone keeps shooting me in the back of the head.

My brother might not be the best introduction into the world of gaming. He believes that you learn by dying. Not doing. You read correctly. DYING. For two hours, I found myself trapped in corners or under staircases because I didn’t know how to work the controller, thus I spent most of the time seeing only my cyborg feet and getting shot in my cyborg a$$. Not only was I supposed to keep the aliens from killing me, but my brother would pop out of nowhere and shoot me in the face and run away while my character regenerated (respawned).

Jerk.

So we somehow escape the craft that has been boarded by aliens and crash-land on some earth-like planet, where we see this giant ring in the sky (the HALO and the center of the game’s storyline). I would have loved to have learned more, but my brother found a Hummer and promptly ran me over….then ran me over again…and yes, again. I finally managed to respawn and beat him to the Hummer. Ha! Revenge…

….so he threw a plasma grenade in my back seat and killed me again. Yes, I come from a family of sadists and I am their favorite object of torment entertainment.

LUZR! Muah ha ha ha ha ha ha!

The odd thing, however, is how well my brother knows me. If he would have held my hand and gently introduced me to gaming, he wouldn’t have ignited my competitive nature.

Shoot me in the a$$. I’ll show YOU!

The next day I recruited my six-year-old nephew Josh to teach me the Jedi X-Box ways. Josh was a better teacher. Granted, he got us lost…all the time and took ALL the ammunition, but it was a step up from being run over 42 times in less than a minute and a half. I had to grow strong and become a warrior.

*insert montage music* If you need to do a lot in a really short time, you need a montage! A montage!

I trained using HALO. Eventually I graduated to playing Dungeons & Dragons Heroes with my nephew and twin cousins (all six years old at the time). We played all day (it was summer and they wouldn’t stay outside). We learned to fight, to cheat and to win. I gained legend-status among all 4-7 year olds on the block. I gamed three days straight until I’d finally beaten Halo and D&D. The very small kindergartener bards would long sing of my adventures and draw Crayon depictions of my many battles.

After beating HALO 1 & 2 and D&D I finally met my match….Enclave. To this day it is the only game I have never beaten.

*Note to game designers: We need to actually be able to win. Thank you.*

It took seven months of playing Enclave almost every day to finally give up and admit a game had bested me. Ah, but I never could have known how this worthy adversary prepared me for my finest hours of battle.

GEARS.

The Gears of War games are not games; they are an experience. What makes them so addictive really isn’t the battling monsters (cool) or even the Lancer, which is a a SAW fitted with a saw–literally it’s a semi-automatic weapon fitted with a chainsaw (awesome)–or even the Torque Bow (exploding arrows & AWESOME-SAUCE)…or sniper rifle…it is the story.

Gears is some of THE best writing anywhere, and, frankly, I am a little happy that Gears of War–Judgement is not coming out until spring. My hands can only take so much.

*foot thumping* What? I’m not addicted. I can quit any time I want.

Of all the games, Gears is my favorite, namely because of the story. Most novels and movies cannot compare. The characters are real and it is easy to get emotionally attached. Each level reveals more and more of the overall story-problem. There is a plot and we as gamers are participating in this real-time adventure. There is tension and conflict on many, many levels, not only from the enemy, but from allies as well.

My alter ego…

Gears is a story of the underdog–Alpha squad fails on their mission to map the enemy tunnels, and Delta Squad, the rejects, take up where their brothers fail. It’s a story that eerily reflects life. In war there is no clear hero or villain. Each side has good reasons for taking up arms. Gears is a story of family, love, sacrifice. It is a story of redemption.

Sure, the shooting bad guys and making stuff go BOOM is a lot of fun and strangely cathartic, but the real draw to this game is the characters. We want to understand, to make sense of why this war ever happened. We care. We want to play the next level and the next because beating the game is the only way we will ever sleep. We need resolution. It is a strange desire. We need the world to be saved while at the same time we are hoping the save is temporary because we want a chance to be able to save the world again.

The Gears saga sucks you in and you cannot help but care. For those Gear Heads out there, tell me you didn’t have to pause the game in Gears 2 when Dom found his wife or in Gears 3 when he visited his children’s graves. You KNOW you cried. Even the dudes. You got tears. It’s okay. You’re among friends.

Sure there are all kinds of morons out there who have played video games until they starved to death or died from their heart exploding from too many energy drinks. I can’t speak for them. I have yet to resort to wearing adult diapers during gameplay (been close, but there are lines best left uncrossed). But gaming has this wonderful way of uniting those of us who never understood football. We can have cool gamer tags (I am known as Miss Mayhem) and meet on-line to….play. We can shoot each other in the butt and play King of the Hill and laugh and be childlike.

Gaming is also great for dating. It’s how I met my husband. He’d never played before. Mwah ha ha ha ha.

“Hey, little boy. Ever heard of X-Box? I have free candy.”

Hey, it worked. Less than a year later we were married.

Gaming is actually a great way of getting to know who people really are. Ladies, if you are single, dudes dig gamer chicks. Learn to game. Something about a woman and a shotgun that is infinitely hot. Ah, but there is more to gaming than just being smokin’ hot. This is one of the best ways for us (ladies) to see who a man really is.

Can this dude play as an effective part of a team? Does he lose his temper? Can he have fun? Does your gaming partner hog all the treasures with no consideration for others? Is your gaming partner an ammo whore, keeping all of it for himself? Does he share frag grenades and ammo cans?

Science shows that a man who won’t share ammo isn’t worth dating let alone marrying.

Does your partner charge off ahead and leave you to the monsters? My husband and I are such an effective monster-killing force that frequently even the game can’t keep up. THAT is teamwork. And the best part is we get to have fun, unwind…and PLAY.

Stories unite us and ignite us. Being able to PLAY is key to balance. Oh, I have to confess that after several bad bouts of tendonitis, I have learned more moderation when it comes to gaming. Yet, I still want to plunge ahead and unlock the next clue, the next key, the next adventure. And this is why I LOVE Gears. I have to confess that one of my big life goals is to write a video game. There, I said it.

I love the holidays, because I get to have fun with my uncle, cousins, husband, brother and nephews. We get to laugh and have fun and make great memories.

So what is your obsession? How you do play? Are you a gamer? What are your favorite games? Why? What makes you passionate for your hobby? Do you come from a family that games together? Ladies, do you game with your hubby?

I love hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of November, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novelor your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

And also, winners have a limited time to claim the prize, because what’s happening is there are actually quite a few people who never claim the critique, so I never know if the spam folder ate it or to look for it and then people miss out. I will also give my corporate e-mail to insure we connect and I will only have a week to return the 20 page edit.

At the end of November I will pick a winner for the monthly prize (will announce October’s winner at the same time. Been on the road too much to effectively tally). Good luck!

I also hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in the biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left to write great books.

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  1. #1 by aliceakemp on November 21, 2012 - 10:15 am

    Egads, Kristen. You, too! I am surrounded by gamers. Both my sons (men in their 30′s), my 16-year-old grandson, and my husband devote hours to various games. Several are hooked on World of Warcraft. But thus far, I have resisted. I love to sew quilts, crochet, knit, and watch football (am lost when the season is over). Thanks for your detailed overview, but I’m still not enrolled. (-: Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. #3 by Patrick Thunstrom on November 21, 2012 - 10:32 am

    Whelp, you know my position on games (they’re awesome) but I never could figure out Gears. The game play didn’t engage me at all, and the opening never gripped me enough to ignore that the game play bored me.

    I do think good multiplayer games are great in general (Especially for family time, my board game collection is there for a reason.)

  3. #4 by Diana Beebe on November 21, 2012 - 10:37 am

    My husband and I used to game seems like eons ago. Doom on the PC was one of our favorites. We would team up against our friend online. He never knew that we were playing two against one. Mwahahaha. Evil, I know! I would see the now-prehistoric Doom graphics when I closed my eyes. I even dreamed about being in the game while he continued playing late one night while I went to sleep to the sounds of rapid gun fire, explosions, and gutteral screams. Ahhh… Good times. :-D

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. #5 by Michelle Roberts on November 21, 2012 - 11:05 am

    My hubby and I definitely game. Not very many of our games are 2-player, but we are constantly watching each other play and giving advice (back seat driving). My favorite games right now are Skyrim, Final Fantasy XIII, Assassin’s Creed, and Fire Emblem. Hubby likes Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed, and Fallout.

    I think that was one of the things he liked about me when we were dating was that I’m as much a nerd as he is. :)

  5. #6 by mfawriterguy on November 21, 2012 - 11:12 am

    Kristen, I love your blog. I love it because it’s not only about writing and publishing but also about your life. I’m a gamer from waaaaay back, and one of my finished (as yet unpublished) novels is a fantasy novel that sprang out of my years as a Dungeon Master for a D&D crew. I’m currently in an MFA program, so my pre-ordered copy of Halo IV sits, still shrink-wrapped, waiting for me to feel justified in taking some gaming time. Reading this has left me with an itchy trigger finger! I will post something today about that poor, lonely copy of Halo IV and link back to this entry.

  6. #7 by colonialist on November 21, 2012 - 11:14 am

    You have my profound admiration. I was briefly addicted to an ancient game (on floppy disk) called Kingdom of Kroz, but couldn’t even get to the higher levels on that. Since then, gaming is a skill I have not acquired. I get my quest adventures from the actual writing – words and music. Works for me.

  7. #8 by T. W. Dittmer on November 21, 2012 - 11:35 am

    Never know quite what to expect from you. :-)

  8. #9 by Matthew Trull on November 21, 2012 - 11:57 am

    That is a great post! I’ve been playing video games since PONG! and I’ve loved so many video games since then. My favorite has to be Black Ops although like you I used to play Halo more than I slept.

    Sadly, my wife is not a gamer, so we do not share times of bliss running eachother over in a Wart Hog or avenging the death of our loved one. Her not being a gamer is probably for the better though as she helps remind me that there is a real life to live, and books to write.

    My favorite line of this post is:

    “Science shows that a man who won’t share ammo isn’t worth dating let alone marrying.”

    Keep writing!

  9. #10 by David N. Alderman on November 21, 2012 - 12:23 pm

    How refreshing it is to see another writer blog about gaming. I’ve been pushing the argument for video games for I don’t know how long now. A video game – in my opinion – is the quintessential combination of storytelling, art, strategy, and entertainment. I’ve been gaming since my dad introduced me to Choplifter on the Commodore 64.

    I never really got into Halo and the Gears of Wars games, but that’s not because they were horrible games, they just weren’t my style. I have been playing Half Life 2: Deathmatch for almost five years now with my online clan, Skyrim on my Xbox, and I do quite a bit of Guild Wars 2 online.

    Sadly, my wife doesn’t care for any of these games. She’s more old school – Mario, Tetris, etc. But at least she approves of my love for gaming.

    Great to see another author/gamer make the argument that gaming isn’t just for the stereotypical lazy bums living off welfare.

  10. #11 by Anna Erishkigal on November 21, 2012 - 12:28 pm

    An old friend of mine finally got me to get over my inhibition about playing addictive video games. Everyone laughs when I tell them I recently got into the old (original) Clone Wars games, but, hey, better late than never, huh? [besides ... my desktop is so old that it's all it will support]

  11. #12 by Miriam Joy on November 21, 2012 - 12:32 pm

    I’ve never played video games. Though I’ve heard a lot about the stories and characters, I never liked the idea of having to beat the system to actually get to the end of that, since I like my stories there and then. Plus, I don’t have the time to get addicted to anything else! However, you do make it sound pretty fun… :D

  12. #13 by Christine Ashworth on November 21, 2012 - 12:43 pm

    We as a family used to play Diablo 2 on the PC (okay, 4 PCs) and we had a total blast. But the xbox games give me vertigo – it’s just too hard for me to handle it, sorry to say. But I love watching my boys (22 and 19) play!

  13. #14 by macswriter on November 21, 2012 - 12:49 pm

    Amazing Kristen. I don’t know how you do what you do and find time for gaming. I guess it helps that it’s also family time. My son is a big gamer, but my husband is not. This year I played a lot of WOW with my son and found it ridiculously fun and addictive. Recently I’ve played a couple multi player games with my son, but haven’t given it much time. There always seems to be so much to do (like write books!). However if my son gets his way, I’ll be playing many of his new games with him sooner or later because he really wants the company. He has Skyrim and Assassin’s Creed now, along with a dozen more whose names I can’t remember, and I’ve heard good things about Final Fantasy. Never heard of Gears tho. I’m very intrigued with the narrative aspects of the newer, better games, and would like to write for games, too. I think more women are getting involved and that ultimately creates a demand for a different kind of narrative (although you seem perfectly happy just blowing s**t up!) ;-)

    • #15 by Author Kristen Lamb on November 21, 2012 - 1:36 pm

      I don’t get to game that often, which is why I do love the holidays. It gives me permission to have fun :D.

  14. #16 by maryloub on November 21, 2012 - 1:03 pm

    I’ve just unsubscribed.  Just wanted you to know I found your earlier blog posts interesting and helpful, but these last few have veered off into strange territory.  Perhaps its a generational thing … ?

    thank you for what you’ve given me thus far and enjoy your journey,

    ML Bagley

     

    • #17 by Author Kristen Lamb on November 21, 2012 - 1:35 pm

      Well, sorry you unsubscribed, but I can’t please everyone. I also can’t always blog about writing and social media or I will burn out and not be able to bring you guys the fresh content you like getting here. In the future, you do have the option of ignoring a post if it doesn’t speak to your needs, especially since you admitted that most of my posts have been helpful to you. I don’t know how realistic or fair it is to expect bloggers to provide free meaningful content that speaks to you every time. I’m good, but not THAT good :D.

      Best of luck to you!

  15. #18 by The Hook on November 21, 2012 - 1:19 pm

    I’ve never been a gamer, but you’ve made a believer out of The Hook! Great tale, Kristen.
    By the way, who won October’s draw?

    • #19 by Author Kristen Lamb on November 21, 2012 - 1:36 pm

      I’m going to do November and October at the same time. I was on the road all of November and I am just whipped.

  16. #20 by Jordan L. Hawk on November 21, 2012 - 1:36 pm

    I’m playing Dishonored right now, which I’m loving, and looking forward to the next Mass Effect DLC. I haven’t been able to talk my husband into playing anything except Portal & Portal 2, and not from lack of trying.

  17. #21 by Cindy Sample on November 21, 2012 - 1:59 pm

    Okay, Kristen, I’m from an older generation but I used the same concept when I approached dating. I once blogged about it – the Girl’s Guide to Golfers! You can learn so much about people by how they play a game. Thanks for the laughs. I may ask my son for an Xbox for Christmas:-)

  18. #22 by jamieayres on November 21, 2012 - 3:08 pm

    My husband loves playing the Wii with our daughters, but it’s not for me. I still prefer cards and Monopoly! I’m glad that they have something to bond over though, and you almost made it sound fun enough to try this holiday weekend. Almost, hahaha!

  19. #23 by Karen Klink on November 21, 2012 - 3:44 pm

    I’ve never played video games, but when we were kids, my best friend and I used to walk for hours making up stories where each of us would be a character. Sometimes these things would go on for months. Now you’ve got me interested in gaming!

  20. #24 by Jennette Marie Powell on November 21, 2012 - 4:50 pm

    My daughter was four when I bought a Gameboy Color and Pokemon Gold. We spent the entire weekend on the couch, with me reading all the text to her. She’s 17 now, and loves telling people that’s how she learned to read! (It’s true.) She’s spent many hours battling my husband in the Mario Kart games. Gaming is what you make it! I don’t play much now. It’s either that or write. I would get way too caught up in WoW or something like that so I stick to casual games.

  21. #25 by ralfast on November 21, 2012 - 5:08 pm

    I am not a fan of EA. The way they destroy developers and franchises is atrocious. But that’s just me I guess. Halo 4 was a fun rental.

  22. #26 by Inion N. Mathair on November 21, 2012 - 6:07 pm

    We’re big Fear fanatics and Mathair tends to stick towards the first person shooters, but I love Tomb Raider and can’t wait for the newest one. And, we are completely psyched about Halo 4. Wish you the best over the holidays, Kristen, and happy gaming!

  23. #27 by amyskennedy on November 21, 2012 - 8:45 pm

    Gawk you make me laugh! I want to be a gamer, but every time I play something where you can die…I die. I laugh about it, in fact my youngest does a killer impression of me: ooooh, hahahaha, I died!

    Therefor I play things with the youngest like Wii bowling. You get the drift. But the funny thing is I always want to listen to the storyline of the “dangerous” games and of course the kid skips those.

    The thing that people don’t get is that you can learn stuff from games–writerly stuff. Like tension and character development and CONFLICT. Sheesh.
    Have a Beautiful and Happy Thanksgiving. And kick some butt!

  24. #28 by Heather Wright on November 21, 2012 - 9:33 pm

    My son is a gamer, but the visuals make me sea-sick, so I can’t even watch. He’s a Zelda fan and I’m always so impressed with how gorgeous the settings are. I just wish I could be around for the entire journey! As for a true test of a husband–I directed my, then, boyfriend in a play once where he had to wear pantihose on his head, and his co-workers came to see the show. Yup, and we still got married. :)

  25. #29 by genacourtney on November 21, 2012 - 11:09 pm

    Please make it easier to post on your blog. thanks

  26. #30 by Laura Ritchie on November 22, 2012 - 1:25 am

    This was such a fun post, Kristen. I love to game, and have a broad range of interests, from Harvest Moon to Assassin’s Creed to just about any WW2 first person shooter ever made. You’re right about a man’s true personality coming out in his gaming. What a great proving ground for relationships. :)

  27. #31 by Tessa Sheppard on November 22, 2012 - 1:08 pm

    My husband and step-son love their Xbox. I resisted for years but when Skyrim came out it reminded me of my old Sega adventures, role-playing characterization games that let me live out my story building itch – long before I realized I wanted to write fiction. I have devoted hours creating characters in Skyrim, starting the game over and creating new characters over again. I have yet to try out the latest Assassin’s Creed or Halo, believing my past fighting game performances are awful, but perhaps I’m limiting myself. It would be a great way to bond with my husband and step-son, all the while showing them I’m a gaming force to be reckoned with. :)

  28. #32 by hcfbutton on November 22, 2012 - 2:28 pm

    I love your comments about revealing who future spouses are in gaming. When I think about how my husband used to play with the guys, he was never the double-crosser. Love him all the more for it!

  29. #33 by Reetta Raitanen on November 23, 2012 - 2:54 am

    How cool that you won the awe of kids by gaming and introduced your husband to the fun too :) Me and hubby love playing WoW together but the best games are table top roleplaying games and storytelling together with our friends. It has taught me a lot about good stories. Have a great time winding up during the holidays.

  30. #34 by lanceschaubert on November 23, 2012 - 1:17 pm

    You make me want to come out of my technological hermit hole and buy a gaming system again. Must… resist… Skyrim…

  31. #35 by hanakojrock on November 24, 2012 - 12:40 am

    Egads, Halo.. i tried that once.. i probably wont play it again xD i’m the kind of dork that cheats on minecraft.

  32. #36 by KM Huber on November 24, 2012 - 11:20 am

    A bit tardy with my response but I decided to “game” for a couple days, not quite as you suggested but I did spend 24 hours of pure bliss solving mystery games/puzzles, a first for me. It will be remembered as one of my best holidays. Thank you for that.

    Karen

  33. #37 by littlewing on November 24, 2012 - 3:28 pm

    Haha this is great! I especially loved the montage and your dating advice. Lately I am into mmorpgs & old strategy games the like of dungeon keeper & theme hospital, but you make gears sound extremely tempting. My sister does playthroughs, I’m definitely going to show her this. She’s huntherkillher on YouTube.

  34. #38 by dlaiden on November 24, 2012 - 3:31 pm

    Haha, another gamer girl here. ;) Halo is awesome; I actually started with 3 and am now working my way through the rest. And I must now try GoW, I’d heard about it from my brother but I hadn’t gotten round to trying it yet!

  35. #39 by jacoblindaman on November 24, 2012 - 3:53 pm

    if you like halo you should check out Red vs Blue. Its a minimachima using bungie’s engine to create a story using a Halo characters, worlds, objects etc. The Red vs Blue series is a comedy. Not for children, but funny for those who enjoy Halo.

  36. #40 by Matt_S_Law on November 24, 2012 - 4:40 pm

    “Science shows that a man who won’t share ammo isn’t worth dating let alone marrying.”
    Gack. I’ve seen the light. I think I know why I’m still single. :)

  37. #41 by skyblueguy on November 24, 2012 - 4:57 pm

    I do not like games.

  38. #42 by A Londoner from Afar on November 24, 2012 - 5:25 pm

    At least, it is a game… Someone I know tried to stop a fight where a woman was being hit by an older man – it turned out they were father and daughter, and they were annoyed at the fact that she tried to stop them!

    I enjoy the concept of gaming in marketing. Congrats on being freshly pressed!

  39. #43 by stephrogers on November 24, 2012 - 6:01 pm

    I loved this post. The image of you sitting with all the kids learning to play made me chuckle. My husband gets stuck playing Skylanders with my son for hours on end. It’s very amusing to see him sitting on the kid’s chairs surrounded by little figurines yet totally absorbed in the game. I have been known to play a bit of guitar hero in my time, once I get over feeling silly about rocking out on a plastic guitar!

  40. #44 by tchistorygal on November 24, 2012 - 7:03 pm

    Hi Kristen, I just finished your book, Are You There Blog?, and loved it. I wrote a review of it and how it aligns with Common Core Standards for middle and high school students. I’d love it if you have a chance to stop by and tak a look at it. http://tchistorygal.wordpress.com/ Thanks for writing the book! Best to you. :)

  41. #45 by Yueran Wei on November 24, 2012 - 7:32 pm

    I wish people back in China (especially my parents) would share your attitude about gaming!
    And great job on convincing a Mass Effect fan to try out Gears of War! (I’m ordering it right now).

    • #46 by Author Kristen Lamb on November 24, 2012 - 9:12 pm

      I hope you love it. I’m actually going to read the books now because I am so in love with the stories and the characters.

      • #47 by Yueran Wei on November 24, 2012 - 9:20 pm

        I think I will! Hope you enjoy the books :)

  42. #48 by redzgy on November 24, 2012 - 11:40 pm

    Ya, Halo was a classic, gears of war isn’t so bad either. I totally relate on the halo post though. I was never extremely great at it but it was so fun :)

  43. #49 by segmation on November 24, 2012 - 11:40 pm

    What a great blog! Sounds like a wonderful thing if one win your once a month critique of the first 20 pages of their own novel, or query letter, or synopsis (5 pages or less)! I can’t wait to read your books as well. Thanks for sharing.

  44. #50 by fathinfikriyansyah on November 25, 2012 - 12:23 am

    Reblogged this on willbeajournalist.

  45. #51 by Alap Parikh on November 25, 2012 - 2:34 am

    Haha this is a great post! I game a lot but if I had to pick one, it would have to be FIFA. I’ve played every single one in that series and frankly, it doesn’t matter what EA puts out any more I’d still love it. Although strategy games are awesome(Rise of Nations, Battle for Middle Earth). And so is Skyrim. And so is Assassin’s Creed. Damn. I would LOVE a gamer girlfriend you’re completely right in that respect

  46. #52 by vishalthinks on November 25, 2012 - 2:49 am

    yes i used to game too… then i started to work and it seems its a looong time since and the love is seemingly lost.. my favs are NFS most wanted and the COD series..

    awesome post!! :)

  47. #53 by bigblue45 on November 25, 2012 - 4:22 am

    I loved this post. Congratulations on making Freshly pressed, here is something that this post prompted me to write about: http://bluescluesnotebookblog.wordpress.com/2012/11/25/no-place-in-the-world-for-a-teenage-boy-who-sucks-at-video-games/

  48. #54 by pendantry on November 25, 2012 - 7:28 am

    The very small kindergartener bards would long sing of my adventures and draw Crayon depictions of my many battles.

    As an Everquest II bard (in another reality), that tickled my funny bone! ‘Crayon depictions…’ /rofl

  49. #55 by TGVA on November 25, 2012 - 8:51 am

    I love your blog! My husband read it first and then got me interested with your commentary on learning how your partner plays to see if they are a quality match. Funny memories stirred, One was that my partner got me into War Craft when they boys used to haul their hardware into someones basement. I didn’t get to play because they were far to advanced and no one wanted to share their set up. Fast forward and honey and I were playing head to head in our home. Loved it ! Once the learning curve stopped slopping, honey didn’t want to get his a** kicked and we started to play against the machine. We are both fully enamoured by Skyrim. Great environment and characters. Never did play Halo, but Quake was part of my initiation into gaming.

  50. #56 by Chris Reynolds on November 25, 2012 - 11:11 am

    Halo 4 is a great title and brilliant installment to the deep storyline of the franchise! And you mentioned a great life lesson there too… If you want to learn how to master a video game… ask a 6 year old. It is the best grand master a 50 cent comic book can buy! Great post!

  51. #57 by Soul Walker on November 25, 2012 - 2:04 pm

    It is true… a woman with a shotgun is pretty hot… even if she’s pointing it at you.

  52. #58 by hezalyte on November 25, 2012 - 2:09 pm

    oh games. Quake was one of my first shooter games and that lead me into Halo. I also Love Skyrim and Assasins Creed! All very great games! For now though, I have kicked it into old school gear and am playing Zelda: Ocarina of Time! Great post!
    Also, I wanted to let you know that I have nominated you for the Beautiful Blogger Award! http://iridessenceindeed.wordpress.com/2012/11/25/beautiful-blogger-award/ hope you participate! :)

  53. #59 by TheWordpressGhost on November 25, 2012 - 3:00 pm

    The ‘fictional characters’ are ‘real.’

    That sounds like a fancy writing term, I cannot think of at the moment.

    Have fun playing for me!

    Ghost.

  54. #60 by TheWordpressGhost on November 25, 2012 - 3:13 pm

    Reblogged this on thewordpressghost and commented:
    Everyone,

    Here is your opportunity to catch up on all your video games.

    Especially HALO.

    Ghost.

  55. #61 by GameronWheels on November 25, 2012 - 5:10 pm

    I feel as though i should be reacting in the typical 25-year-old “I’m a jaded gamer and you dont know what your’e talking about and you only play the basest of mainstream games” kind of way. Truth is, I keep my ear very close to the ground and love speculating over what games are going to be huge, whats going to suck, what developer is great and so on and so forth. But for the life of me, i enjoyed reading it. I suppose its comforting to see other people begin to understand that this isnt just a passtime for little kids. i can disagree with you all day about the story of Gears of War (Terrible, ham-fisted writing that is completely undeserving of the emotional tone it attempts to garner towards the tail of the series) but truth of it is, its nice to be able to even have this kind of conversation with another person that i don’t know or even game with in real life. So kudos.

  56. #62 by dotcomdarling on November 25, 2012 - 5:15 pm

    Really enjoyed reading this post. I’m still a newbie gamer but the only game I truly like is Halo. You’ve inspired me to try out Gears!

  57. #63 by GameronWheels on November 25, 2012 - 5:52 pm

    Reblogged this on gamespew and commented:
    Shes not a full time gamer, but shes alright in my book.

  58. #64 by travelgardeneat on November 25, 2012 - 8:38 pm

    OK, OK, so maybe I need to pick up that Xbox controller and learn a thing or two about Skyrim after all?! ~ Kat

  59. #65 by Geoff on November 26, 2012 - 12:09 am

    This is brilliant. I love the insight and the pure honesty with the love of gaming. It is still amazing how the gamer stigma still lingers and it is articles like this that show the honest fun and bonding that can be involved. Thanks for continuing to peel back the layers. Great read. Thank you.

  60. #66 by Sword of Apollo on November 26, 2012 - 2:02 am

    Yeah, I’m a gamer. I was playing online during the heyday of Halo 2 on the original XBox. I was also heavily into the multiplayer of Splinter Cell: Double Agent (Xbox 360 version) and I’d say that, for a while, I was one of the best, (especially as a Mercenary.) I’m into Halo 4 now.

    By the way, if you want to write for a game, be prepared for something a little…different than what you’re used to. I’ve never done it, but from what I’ve read, it’s not like other writing. There’re a few books out there on game writing and design that might help you know what to expect.

  61. #67 by saved in drafts on November 26, 2012 - 9:02 am

    Aside from the childhood obsession with mario kart and later on the addiction to kingdom hearts (they NEED to bring out the next one… like …NOW!) My ex got me into online / XBox / “boy” gaming. We started with CoD – It’s true how their attitutude when playing reflects his true self, he was such a girl! Lol he was moody, reluctant to help me, definitely not a team player and would back out of any game where I was close to beating him OR he was the last kill… It was embarrassing and awkward to watch – again a total reflection of him really ha ha.

    My husband and I play CoD together and it’s such a difference. Before we lived together we would play online in a party and talk while playing- he even let me borrow his Xbox for a few weeks (now THAT’S love)
    We watch each others backs, he is proud when I kick his ass and sometimes he even sings “sexy and I know it” while crouching and aiming and “dancing” in front of me – hilarious!

    More recently he bought me my own Xbox live account “MrsStewy” so we can play split screen and I can actually rank up of my own accord :)

    I’m not the best, I do tend to camp a little and we both get annoyed with the people who are obviously cheating on there and consequently hammering us but it’s something we both enjoy and I find it such a release after a stressful day.

    I’ve heard so many girls moan that they’ve lost their boyfriends to their Xbox and I’ve never understood why they don’t just pick up a controller and have a go… It’s so much fun!!

  62. #68 by harunwijayanto on November 26, 2012 - 10:18 am

    Reblogged this on harunace97.

  63. #69 by jbw0123 on November 26, 2012 - 10:22 am

    I want an alter ego who looks like that. Don’t know about the husband test though. I’m SURE my husband would hog the ammo. Kristen if you write a game, maybe I’ll take gaming up.

  64. #70 by legendsofyouth on November 26, 2012 - 10:33 am

    The title pulled me in! haha very well done! This post was great thanks for sharing and congrats on FP!

  65. #71 by xxdreamwalker on November 26, 2012 - 10:52 am

    I loved this post! My current boyfriend introduced me to the Xbox only a couple of years ago, and I’m already kicking his a$$ in Call of Duty – which he’s been playing since the beginning of time, apparently. So it’s fun. Now I play everything. Halo 4 was wicked! The only thing I don’t like are the lame guys out there sending dirty and inappropriate messages once they realize I’m a girl. Desperate, much?

  66. #72 by sortaginger on November 26, 2012 - 1:09 pm

    We have been more involved with the “tamer” Wii games, but nothing like a Mario Kart marathon to encourage mother-son bonding. Some pretty serious life conversations have occurred while Yoshi (kid) is trying to knock King Boo (me) off Rainbow Road.

    He is getting an xbox for Christmas, so I guess I will need to get ready to really play the big boy games now.

  67. #73 by leftyhjones on November 26, 2012 - 5:29 pm

    Great Post, I’ve been a gamer from the moment my chubby little baby fingers could press a button on a game pad and I’ve enjoyed ever minute of it! If I had to pick a favorite game it would hands down be Final Fantasy 7, (as far as story, characters and content go, it is unparalleled) but i also love Halo, Gears, And the COD franchises as well!

  68. #74 by tomasocall478 on November 27, 2012 - 1:51 am

    I Love the game

  69. #75 by Bobby Fernandez on November 27, 2012 - 2:10 am

    Play is one of my favorite subjects to write about. Thanks for this.

  70. #76 by dzisperado on November 27, 2012 - 6:20 am

    Gaming is OK as long as you have income, are in shape and express yourself in other ways as well. If not – gaming is a disease.

  71. #77 by debaucherysoup on November 27, 2012 - 8:49 am

    I have tried to play with my son – he efforlessly ‘owns’ when playing COD, Halo, Assassins Creed etc. I however, find there’s just too many notes, I mean, buttons. I think the last game I was able to play with him was Spyro the Dragon. OH! And Animal Crossing! :)

  72. #78 by TNW on November 27, 2012 - 11:17 am

    Play Persona 4!

  73. #79 by davemanic on November 27, 2012 - 11:55 am

    Intense! Gaming has been part of my life for a long time, my wife and I are Halo and Gears junkies. Our Xbox died out awhile ago, and the lack of GOW is putting strain on the relationship. I lookfforward to Halo 4, I have been following bungie since myth.

  74. #80 by TL Jeffcoat on November 27, 2012 - 1:16 pm

    Yup, gamer chicks rock, that’s what sealed the deal when I met my wife. For the first couple of months dating she rolled her eyes at me and my buds playing Madden tournaments and shouting over Street Fighter (pick a version) or me spending hours playing the latest Final Fantasy. One day I caught her playing Diablo on her pc and I knew it right then, she was the one. We even gamed together in Diablo 2 and then World of Warcraft till the kids came. Someday, I’ll bring her back to Azeroth and we can go back to killing whatever apocalyptic atrocity is threatening the universe again.

  75. #81 by wwwedirectory on November 27, 2012 - 2:07 pm

    Nice game

  76. #82 by Sarah on November 27, 2012 - 4:35 pm

    Oh my goodness, your introduction to Halo sounds a lot like how my younger brother got me playing, too! I also started just to keep him from whining, and he never went easy on me! I’m normally a fan of slower-paced games, definitely not FPS, but by the time Halo 3 came out I had learned how to keep up with him (kills from the grave are my specialty, now), and got my own Xbox and gamertag. And we just spent the whole day of Thanksgiving on Halo 4. He and I make a great team now… he’s very patient and precise, a great sniper, and I sort of go in crazy, blowing up everything I can. It’s messy, but it works for me. ;-)

  77. #83 by tails4life on November 28, 2012 - 12:02 am

    This was awesome.

  78. #84 by CM Doporto on November 30, 2012 - 11:59 pm

    I really liked your blog. Although I’m not a gamer there are times when I want to become one (my husband is a part-time gamer and when he gets hooked on a new game my interest peaks.) However, I know that it will take away from my writing and that is my number one goal. We are considering buying an X-Box and I fear I may be going the ranks :)

  79. #85 by Option Bot Review on December 9, 2012 - 10:07 am

    After I originally left a comment I seem to
    have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now
    on whenever a comment is added I receive 4 emails with the exact same comment.

    Is there a means you are able to remove me from that service?

    Thank you!

    • #86 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 10, 2012 - 8:39 am

      Go back to your comment and uncheck the box. Sorry. No idea why WP does that.

  80. #87 by lifeofmack on December 13, 2012 - 3:28 am

    I bought Halo 4 for my boyfriend and got “BEST. GIRLFRIEND. EVER.” status of Facebook lol. I had played Reach before but sucked miserably at it. I’m now starting to get better. Sadly better for me is still 3 kills a game or over 10 seconds with the ball/flag but we chalk it up to me being a girl that has never ever played video games outside of dance ones on Wii. I agree! It is a great thing for girls to do, boyfriends like it…a lot. And their friends or brothers think your guy has hit the jackpot haha ;)

  81. #88 by elevenocloak on January 31, 2013 - 7:32 pm

    Great blog!

    Haha remember when it was board games, now it’s COD. I feel old.

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