No Stargate tonight.  They were all repeats of ones we had seen so Betsy and I played a hour of Neverwinter Nights instead.  If you can't watch soldiers beating up on aliens on TV, the next best thing is to beat up on goblins yourself.  We play cooperatively.  A friend of mine offered advice about playing computer games with your wife.  Don't' compete against each other.  You'll only end up in a fight, for real.  I think we instinctively understood this ourselves, so we team up and play against the computer.  Still we each usually end up scrambling to get to the treasure first.

Last year we played Dungeon Siege.  It was a lot of fun.  Betsy is friends with Chris Taylor, who designed the game.  She likes to rib him about how he created the best game for women.  After all, isn't the whole point of the game to gather money so you can go shopping?  The best part of the game is when you complete a mission and finally arrive in a town where you can buy new pieces of armor, mixing and matching the colors.  Don't tell me that's not the reason everyone plays on-line role playing games like Everquest.  Certainly, most everyone just goes out on missions to collect treasures like fancy colored armor that makes them look cooler.

I don't play on-line though.  I tried a few times, but I just can't spend the time to make it worthwhile.  Those games are designed to require you to keep advancing at the pace that the rest of the players are.  I 'played' Everquest for five months when it first came out.  I retired as a level 5 ranger.  I don't think I ever advanced beyond the capability to fight wolves.  I never got to see any interesting content of the game, because I could not put in the twenty hours a week.  The game is metered to only dole out the content in little bits, so it has lasting power.  Friends who continue to play these types of games report on different game systems and what not, as each one is somewhat different, but in the end they are all the same.  I'll take a multi-player self-hosted games anytime. 

Of course, the best feature of hosting your own game, is the reload option.  I don't think we could play without it.  Approaching the next door.  What's beyond it?  Better save the game here.  Whoops, an ambush?  Reload. 

I wish life had a reload.  I really do.  Every time you encounter someone new there is a new chance to do something or say something stupid.  If you could reload you could perfect the moment.  You could keep trying until you finally did something just right, or found something incredibly clever to say.  It would almost be like editing reality, like with a word processor with spell check.  That would be a great product to sell, Reality Checker 1.0.  Well, better not buy the first version; 3.0 then, that'd do it.

But I digress

Matt