Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother’s Day Gifts to Cherish

Some mothers get rubies. Some mothers get diamonds. Some mothers get ruby-encrusted diamonds on gold rings.

And then…there are mother’s like me, who…Lord. I’m laughing so hard I can’t even write this. What did I get for my “grownup” Mother’s Day present? When other mothers who got gifts of (allegedly) equal value were gasping over little black boxes and sighing over cashmere wraps and saying the new Mercedes was just ever so darling, thank you dearest?

A video card. You know, the thing in a computer that controls how you see things?

OK, maybe you’re thinking this is something like the husband buying his wife a shop vac (when she isn’t a woodworker herself), or a new iron and ironing board (so she can get his shirts done faster).

Let me explain.

My husband bought a video game for himself last week. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. About eight seconds into it he announced, “I think this is more a ‘you’ game than a ‘me’ game.”

And about ten minutes after I shoved him out of the chair took a turn, I agreed with him. My kind of game. Getting to kick goblin butt and kill things…but as a Hero. Woo hoo.

But there was a problem. Our video card was old and testy and doesn’t even run DVDs. And the gameplay was…bothersome. The mouse couldn’t move properly and if there were two NPCs (non-player-characters, to you non-role-playing-gamers) in the scene the whole thing just went kaput and it was irritating and don’t even get me started on how annoying melee combat was!

In order to play the game, we had all the video settings on the lowest possible. Lowest detail, lowest interaction with NPCs, lowest everything relating to video. And it worked. Mostly. Sorta. When it didn’t…not…work…

So after making me two Absolutely Perfect Eggs™ with bacon and toast and everything, my husband said, “Hey. It’s Mother’s Day. You go have fun and play your game – I’ll do all the cooking and cleaning and child-wrangling.”

I made a slight pretense of not wanting to abandon the family. By which I mean, I let him finish the whole sentence before I bolted for the computer room and locked myself (and Eldest, who is very into Harry Potter and video games and by the way, kicks butt at Warcraft and I am so proud of my *ahem* eight year old for that) in there loading up the game and outlining my strategy for the day.

And a while later, while bringing me a soda (I do so love my man!), I whined vigorously mentioned that our video card sucked lumpy moose piss through a straw seemed a bit inferior. He said it was, in fact, inferior and not even on the list of supported devices. But, he said warningly, a “good” video card would run $200. And one that would really make this game go would be more like $300.

In a moment of wild abandon, I said I was more than willing to slap down $300 right here, right now, to be able to play this game right. (I may have been a tad emotional – I had just died in combat due to the stupid video card locking up on me while a couple goblins were jumping at me and I so totally could have taken them!

So what did he do?

He got in the car, went to Best Buy, bought the $300 video card (this would be the one that the teenagers stand around drooling over and begging their parents to buy for them) (sweeeeeeeeeeet), brought it home, installed it and the drivers and everything else and we loaded it up and OH MY GOD it is the BEST GAME EVER!!!

The graphics – stunning!
The detail – exquisite!
The artwork – gasp!
The melee combat – ooooohaaaaaaaaah!

I played all day. I leveled up twice (which isn’t as lamely easy in this game as in some others). I got the coolest dwarven shield that has an AC of like a zillion, and this utterly boss long sword and I have awesome blade skills now and I can hit like a thousand times per second and stuff and this one time? I hit a goblin so effin’ hard it flew backwards like ten feet and there was this huge bloodspatter all over the wall behind it and it like, shook it’s head like it was saying “whoooooooooa!” …it was wicked!


I think it is probably a rather sad commentary on my priorities in general, but Oh.My.Dawg. In the ‘not from the children’ category of Mother’s Day gifts?

Best. Present. Ever.

You can keep the rubies and the diamonds and the Mercedes.

Just give me a decent desktop with a boss video card, a game the stature of Oblivion, and several (mostly) uninterrupted hours to worship before it all…

1 comment:

21st Century Mom said...

Wow - and here I sit all excited about a heart rate monitor. Sheesh! I guess we could cogitate on passive fun vs. active fun or healthy stuff vs. killing things or something. Or not.

Happy Belated Mother's Day