As well as declaring our love for our backlogs this week, it’s also Valentine’s Day: that time of year when we show our loved-ones just how much we care about them. And seeing how I managed to bag myself a new husband last month (it still feels weird writing that), I guess I should be pulling out all the stops to show him just how special he is to me.
I don’t do red roses, boxes of chocolates and cards bearing statements of everlasting love however. The idea of Valentine’s Day has never held any appeal for me and I find it counter-intuitive: you can show someone how you feel about them on any day of the year rather than waiting for a particular date in February. So I’ve chosen to forego the traditionally-soppy stuff and instead devote today’s post to him, all about the video games we’ve played together over the past few years.
After moving to a different part of Essex in 2014, someone overheard me having a conversation in a pub about Street Fighter. He introduced himself as ‘Pete’ and started trying to guess my favourite character; and during a conversation over a couple of drinks, we realised we’d grown up in houses on parallel streets and had moved to the same town as adults but never met before. Not long afterwards we visited The Heart of Gaming, where we went head-to-head on the title and I kicked his butt (there’s a chance he may have let me win).
For our first Christmas evening together, the most festive thing Pete and I did was eat an entire tub of Quality Street. The rest of the night was spent playing Alien: Isolation, creeping around the Sevastopol space station in search of Ellen Ripley – and being unable to make our way past a dark corridor because that damn Xenomorph kept dropping through a vent in the ceiling and onto our heads. In a fashion which has repeated itself with horror games since, he was in charge of the controller while I hid behind a cushion.
In an effort to introduce them both to the indie side of gaming, I re-installed Journey for my other-half and stepson – and Ethan fell in love with it as soon as we handed the controller over to him. After climbing the snowy mountain and reaching the final cutscene, he said: “So I’m the star… and the next person playing right now will see me in the sky at the start of their game. That’s cool.” Getting that opportunity to show him that video games don’t have to be about violence and the fact that he understood that so well made me very proud.
Guild of Dungeoneering
Pete had never been to a gaming expo before so when Rezzed rolled around in April 2015, I bought him a ticket to go with Ben and I. His favourite game of the show was Guild of Dungeoneering; a strange choice for him because neither of us are particularly into card games. The quirky hand-drawn art-style won him over however and we played this title together for a number of weeks afterwards, and even now he bursts out into song because the catchy theme tune has suddenly popped into his head.
Ethan really enjoys titles where all three of us can play together so Overcooked! seemed like an obvious choice when it was released in 2016. We haven’t managed to complete it yet though and gaming sessions usually end up with my stepson running around blasting the fire extinguisher; but it’s an awful lot of fun and encourages plenty of yelling. We’ve tried increasing our team to four members by including my mother-in-law when she stays with us – but it usually has hilarious, if disastrous, consequences.
To The Moon
Although it’s not the sort of game he’d usually enjoy, Pete was happy to sit and watch while I played through To The Moon once again last year. He may have teased me a little when the tears started falling towards the end but he could see how much this game meant to me. When it came time to pick the music for our marriage ceremony, Everything’s Alright by Laura Shigihara therefore seemed like the perfect choice for one of the songs; and the piano version we went for left our guests unaware that it was a track from a video game.
The Elder Scrolls Online
If adventuring through the Elder Scrolls lands was fun before, it’s even more fun now having Pete there by my side as explained in a post last week. We’ve been levelling up alongside each other and completing all the quests together; and when a solo one comes up, we’ll wait for our comrade by the exit once we’re done. It’s nice having someone there to explore the world with, celebrate in-game accomplishments with, and trade loot with – and it’s an added bonus that he’s sitting right next to me on the sofa.
A Way Out
Pete has participated in the GameBlast marathon stream with me ever since we met, although the event this year is going to be a little different. The other members of our usual crew will be tied up with spouse’s birthdays and new babies so it’s just the two of us next month! The game I’m most looking forward to playing is A Way Out because I love a good couch-coop – and if both of us have a controller, there’s less chance of us falling asleep. You can find out about our 24-hour stream schedule in this post.
With a new year of gaming ahead of us, hopefully there’ll be many more games Pete and I play together during 2019. Are there any titles you’d recommend for couples and friends; and which releases have you played with your loved-ones? Let me know in comments below so we can share the love this Valentine’s Day. ❤
Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.