I’ve haven’t been a huge fan of television since I was a kid watching Saturday Morning Cartoons. Well, there was that phase when MTV actually played Music Videos in the early 80’s. Outside of that, it’s been a huge financial waste to actually pay these useless networks to flood my life with advertising. With commercials that play between and during shows and infomercials, I’m taking a stab that it is around 60% to 70% of the total content of television. Add that with never ending reruns and “reality tv” (thanks again MTV, you did the world’s population yet another solid). That leaves about 5% of anything interesting to watch if at all. Because good shows, actually get canceled, while useless shows continue for years.
I would watch series every so often, but not much. For the most part, I avoided T.V. When my skills developed for computers in the early 90’s, I started playing video games. Duke Nukem 3D. Carmageddon, II Carpocalypse Now and TDR 2000. Interstate 76. Unreal Tournament. Thief and II The Metal Age and Thief Deadly Shadows. The Sims. Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, San Andreas and GTA IV. I’d play these games for hours on end. Maybe watch a little T.V. and go out with the family a few times a week.
Best times were when I had our Home Network setup to play Carmageddon II and Unreal Tournament across the house. For hours on end and entire weekends we would laugh, yell and have a hell of a time together.
I should also note, that before my second marriage, I was rather social. From being a small time drummer, to avid party goer. I wasn’t a socialite by any means, but I would talk to just about anyone. I had jobs that kept me in view of many people as customers day in and day out. After my second marriage turn into a Jerry Springer nightmare, I was a social recluse. I’ve never fully recovered from that though I have clearly become much better. Sadly, my current job doesn’t have a lot of one on one interaction with people. Even if I do, it’s generally with the geriatric crowd. I live in like the second largest retirement community.
Shortly after moving into our new house, I started wondering about all this hype I kept hearing about online games such as World of Warcraft and Guild Wars. I didn’t want to spend money on monthly fees just to try something out, so I poked around the internet for perhaps free or cheap MMO’s. I found that there were loads of “free to play” online games. I got excited and started trying them out.
Once I finally found a game that would play decently (there are lots of them published with loads of issues sadly), I get myself up a Knight on Last Chaos. This was the beginning of the end for my finances and my current marriage. I just didn’t know it yet. (This was before the current iteration of this website, so the history doesn’t go back far enough.)
About a month or so after I started playing and making a friend or two, I got to thinking that my wife and I haven’t played games together in a long time, so I coaxed her into playing with me. I created her very first Pandella. I made the name up because I loved hunting Pandora Boxes and it was like Cinderella.
We played that game for nearly 2 years. During which we made friends, enemies and a lot of debt. A few friends I still have today. The wife however, got into the “friends” thing way more than I did. She began to live for it.
We tried to play this game for a little while. You only had to buy the game and expansions. There was no monthly fees involved. And while the graphics were stunning, the game play mechanics just felt all wrong to us. Besides we found ourselves playing alone or with NPC’s which destroyed the social part of it. It was just lonely and annoying.
This was before Webzen had the license agreement and our first “break-up”. She took off to play Runes of Magic, I went back to Last Chaos briefly. Just before that, I took 2 months out to play Archlord. Another beautiful game visually, and had decent mechanics but lacked in party features. I manged to get the wife to play it for like a week. She too felt the struggle.
This game is like playing World of Warcaft for the most part. We’ve even referred to it as like WoW alpha or something. However, we played the EU version of it. This is the game our UK friends we made in Last Chaos had gone off too. And for a year it was a great game to play. Though as with Last Chaos, the game became greedy and selfish. Costing us way more than we’d like to spend. Though not nearly as much as Last Chaos did.
This is also when I noticed that my wife didn’t like spending any time with me anymore. If I was online, she felt obligated to try to get me into parties and dungeons, but I could tell she preferred the company of her new friends over me. A doctor and some punk kid who would openly flirt with her. Where I grew up, that kind of thing caused bar fights. She accused me of being overly jealous and would tell me that “it’s not like I’m flying over there to meet them”.
Finally I came to my senses as far as free to play games are by no means at all free. I convinced everyone to give World of Warcraft a go. (Well, not Carrag, as he played the game for a couple years on and off.) Though we struggled to get things done here due to the time difference. We couldn’t find people to play with after 6pm for the most part. So I’d farm herbs so much that I got banned twice. Of course the wife found new guys to give her the attention and flirtations she craves. In so much, that she eventually changed servers and I was left to basically play alone after my two friends went to bed for the night. After a few weeks, I offered up to move my character to the server she was playing on, as I didn’t want to start a new one. She just about lost it basically screaming at me that even if I did that, I would still be alone. That was the thing to tell me she was done with me. She had the attention she needed and wanted. She got tired of me interfering with that dynamic and my being jealous of it.
The next day while at work, I closed up my UK WoW account and opened a new US WoW account. She didn’t want me to play with her, I figured I’d go ahead and give her the space. Perhaps then things would cool down between us. I sincerely tried to make playing on the US servers work by myself. I soon realized though, without friends, it’s never going to work. What people I have met, have either not had the time to play or not have enough people to accomplish anything decent. I spend way too much time alone playing games online. If I’m going to be alone, I don’t see the need to spend $15 a month to spend this much time alone. I’m not the socialite, so I don’t like making a lot of friends. I would rather have a small circle of friends. Well… I do have a small circle of friends. Sadly, one can’t play right now. The other plays Guild Wars or shooters (which I’m not into). The others are on the UK servers and I have left their servers and don’t see them after 6pm anyways. None of them live nearby, so visiting them in real life is out of the question. This leaves me to where I am now.
In my own bedroom. By myself. I have given up on making things work between me and my wife at this point. It’s over, I’ve become completely numb to her. After spending the past year listening to how I’m jealous, overweight and don’t have a good enough job and I’m overly cynical. That last one makes me giggle a little. She actually came up with the Dumasaphobia idea. Whatever. The only question remains, is what to do with a house we can’t afford anymore.