That said however Wife is one of those women that wouldn’t know an orc if it hit her over the head with a bastard sword. Yes, I married a woman that thinks that elves are not real, dragons are confined to the name of our favorite Chinese takeout restaurant, and that grown men who play on-line roll playing games do not have enough chores to do around the house.
Oh woe is me!
So when my friend John introduced me to Neverwinter Nights and the perpetual world on which he regularly played (Avlis), Wife rolled her eyes and humored me. I could almost hear the thoughts in her head at the time, “it’s okay, I’ve purged worse habits out of him, this is one that I can wear down with some gentle nagging and the occasional lingerie.”
(In case Wife reads this post I should add at this point, the more lingerie figures into our domestic life, the less I’ll play on the computer and the more I’ll be her personal slave.)
Well what Wife didn’t expect to deal with when I discovered NWN was a part of my personality that I had buried deep from her, hidden it really. Yes I think you all know what I mean. She didn’t know about my Inner Nerd.
My Inner Nerd of course is the antithesis of the responsible adult that I pretend to be. The responsible adult sees the need to pay off credit cards, work extra hours to impress the boss, and always try to network with people he meets so that he can find that dream job.
The Inner Nerd on the other hand believes that paying off credit cards consists of hacking into the credit card company’s mainframe and erasing your outstanding debt. He would rather not work, and if he did find the necessity to work it would be at a super bookstore like Borders or Barnes and Noble (unless it’s a liberal Inner Nerd in which case a used bookstore would be ideal). The most important characteristic of the Inner Nerd of course is this simple truth: friendships aren’t forged at dinner parties or league bowling night; they are formed when you are locked in an epic struggle with your traveling companions as legions of goblin warlocks attack you with their exploding chickens.
My Inner Nerd is like most everyone else’s. He loves the drama of an epic fight. He appreciates the satisfying sight of watching his XP (experience points…the nerd equivalent of a batting average) mount throughout his adventures. He finds humor in the jokes that inevitably crop up when someone’s talking about his “polearm +2” (kind of like a corked bat) that they ran through a bugbear (like a…oh never mind if you’re not a nerd you won’t get it). And of course he can engage in hour long debates about how Battlestar Gallactica is far superior to both Star Wars and Star Trek.
Most of all my Inner Nerd loves emoting. *Looks curious*, *rubs chin thoughfully*, the ever popular *nod*, and a personal favorite *scratches ass with battleaxe, jumps from pain when he remembers it’s infused with fire*. How fun it is to simply allow my imagination to determine my actions, to find in my character an on-line extension of personality, devoid of consequences.
Yet for all the joy I find in it, even my Inner Nerd cannot resist the determination of Wife. The guilt at times is overwhelming. The worst night occurred several months ago, I was playing late as I usual do when up comes a dm (dungeon master…kind of like a baseball manager or God) controlling a child that pleaded for my help. How could I turn down a child? And so I gathered the others playing on the server, and off to the rescue we marched. Several hours later, as the sun broke the horizon I slumped into bed, weary but satisfied from a night’s work. Only realizing the moment my head hit the pillow and the alarm clock rang that I might have stayed up too late. Wife didn’t have to say anything that morning *sighs sadly*.
And so now I find myself struggling, wondering if it’s safe to jump on-line for two or three hours to join in the dm lead event. I find myself saying things like, “sure honey I’ll scrub the toilet, why don’t you go to the store and get our grocery shopping done, that way we’ll be multi-tasking,” or “I really have to finish this paper for work, why don’t you go to bed without me,” or my personal favorite “yes dear I’ll be there in five minutes let me finish this email to my grandfather.” (Note to all readers who haven’t used this last one, five minutes equates to five hours or the length of time it takes her to fall asleep so that she won’t be that mad at you when you wake up in the morning.)
Yes marriage and on-line gaming are a difficult balancing act. I suppose I could actually talk to Wife and tell her that I want to play for a few hours tonight. “What’s that dear? Oh yes I’ll finish up here in just five minutes.” Hehehe, I’m going to go find myself some goblin warlocks to kill.
Song of the Day: Now this is fun. As Wife mentioned we have a West Virginia flower on our roof allowing us to get all sorts of stations that cable doesn't provide. Among these are my new favorite network "IMF: the International Music Feed" which not only plays videos but actually plays them from all over the world. In tribute to this channel here's a video from German/Austrian/Swiss (who knows they all sound the same to me) artist Christina Sturmer