Playing games with other people makes me realize that I’m a monster
My partner is the most patient man I have ever met. That’s one of the things I appreciate most about him – especially since I’m the opposite. He’s the legitimate Good Guy to my Chaos Neutral. I am a tornado and he is calm waters. Opposite attracts, right?
For most of our relationship, this dynamism – his patience, combined with my spontaneity – has made us a pretty awesome team, able to support each other in every way. exactly in the ways that we ourselves lack.
At least, until we launch a co-op game.
I play the game pretty chaotic, I admit. Long cutscenes bore me — I’d rather live a story rather than slowly bringing it into my eyes – and I tend to prefer playing light-hearted characters, because the rush of adrenaline you get when you steal a sword from someone’s pocket is what I would never have in real life. On the other hand, my partner is the type who will read everything carefully to make sure he understands it. He’s going to be playing characters who behave, you know, like real people — not the weird little thief I played who constantly stoops and puts buckets on people’s heads.
I know. I am terrible. But the thing is, when I play the game alone, it doesn’t bother anyone else and I have more fun doing things my way. It gets the job done faster, and that’s the way I like it. And most of the time, it doesn’t matter.
But when we play Divinity: Original Sin 2, a game I’ve been playing alone for quite some time, that’s changed. Suddenly, my tendency to crush A through lengthy dialogue to get to the core of the adventure meant he had no idea what was going on. Our tendency to rummage through someone’s belongings while they’re averting their eyes continues to push us into battles we can’t win. I was like a wild kid with sticky fingers, and he was just trying to keep the peace. And less to say about my overwhelming need to manage my inventory just like that – this is complicated by the fact that I can see his distinct arrangement (not wrong, just difference) inventory on the same screen as mine — the better.
We didn’t end the game, and that’s a shame, but it makes sense. Our playstyles are fine, but they don’t mix well, because I’m a monster.
But lately, I’ve been wanting to play Star Valley cooperate again. And, more specifically, I want to play Stardew Valley with him. I’ve played for hundreds of hours and he’s never even touched the game, so I know it’s going to be hard to quell my control instincts. After all, Stardew Valley is exactly the kind of game that you can minimize as much as possible, use each passing day in the most efficient way for maximum profit, and that’s how I’ve always played this game myself — as a challenge to myself. myself to be the best farmer ever on the farm, with a nice, organized farm and a bunch of color-coded chests filled with at least one of the things I need.
But when you share something with someone, you must cede control to at least half of it, otherwise it’s not really sharing. I wouldn’t be very cooperative if I insisted that I be responsible for the storage system, because then I wouldn’t ours storage system, and a storage system that you don’t understand is very difficult to use.
So instead of letting my chaotic inner wild kid run around without checking like I usually do, I’m channeling that energy into the foundation, doing what I can to support it, because because god knows those first two seasons in the game can be slow. I’m using the value of my wiki’s knowledge to help, not get in the way.
That means bringing items to the community hub so we can unlock shortcuts and features that make the game more fun. It means going to mine to get bug meat back to him as bait, so he can fish as much as he wants, which is his favorite thing in the game so far. I don’t want to deal with all the kinks of the game – I just want to make sure he’s having a good time without too much friction, you know?
I… I’m minimizing again. I’m min-maxing him enjoyment.
Oh my God. I’m still a monster. I AM STILL A MONSTEEEEEEEEER
PS: I made him read this article and he said “I don’t think you’re a monster!” and then told me I had to add this at the end of the post so everyone knew he didn’t think I was a monster. He’s wrong, but I appreciate it.
What is your terrible co-op habit? Have you ever broken up with a relationship because of your gremlin-like playstyle? Let me know in the comments!