Update from a gaming grandma

The three Destiny classes. I tried and liked them all, but I’m thinking I’ll need the survivability of the titan.

I’ve not subjected you to a report on my gaming activities for about six months, so brace yourself. It’s time for another update. (My feelings won’t be hurt if you excuse yourself now … )

It’s obvious from my Current Bestsellers widget that Google’s GPS/smartphone game Ingress is alive and well. Folks must be getting a bit tired of seeing my Ingress posts in that widget all the time; I know I am. Personally, I’ve almost abandoned the game. The opposition (Resistance) has greatly outnumbered my side (Enlightened) and pretty much rules my part of town. I think much of the renewed/continuing interest is because the game became available to iPhone and iPad users in June; there’s a whole new generation of players looking for information. If you’ve wanted to play but couldn’t because you had an iPhone, now’s your chance. It’s a free download at the Apple store.

In lieu of Ingress I have resorted to less strenuous gaming (and less expensive, since it does not require driving all over town). Six months ago I was awaiting the release of Titanfall. It is a great game and I enjoyed it for several months. I wasn’t very good at it because I just don’t have the reactions for a fast-twitch fast-moving first-person shooter. For me, trying to aim and shoot with a console controller is as unintuitive and awkward as trying to drive with one. The most limiting factor, however, is the Titanfall system that requires you to focus on using different weapons in order to advance significantly. I wanted to stick with a sniper rifle and so-called “smart” pistol. Still, the game was different and fun, and even for a poor player there’s always the challenge (or hope) of improving if I just keep trying.

Then I succumbed, finally, to Battlefield 4. I’d resisted the very popular multiplayer shooters for a long time because I didn’t want to play a game where other players — teammates — would be counting on me to do my part. I tend to play as a loner, on the fringes, where no one is dependent on my skills and no one else dies or loses points because of my ineptitude. As it turns out, in Battlefield there’s not that much coordinated team play. It’s very advantageous when it occurs, but it seems more often than not it’s every man for himself. So I play a recon/sniper, usually lurking on the fringes, sniping when I can, but mostly spotting targets for those capable of hitting them. I get points for spotting as well as actually killing the enemy, so I can progress in the game even though I can’t hit the broad side of a barn. Why is it fun when I’m such a bad shot? Well, as I noted before, there’s the undying hope/challenge that if I play enough, I’ll eventually improve. And when I do manage to hit a target, it’s very gratifying. I can certainly see why the game is so addictive for those who can hit their targets on a fairly consistent basis.

I took a break from Battlefield to play the brief Destiny beta, a game from the Halo developers that’s been called a combination of Halo and World of Warcraft. It combines a multiplayer first-person shooter with elements of role-playing games. Lots of fun. Three classes, three races, and — tada! — female characters, a rarity in video games. I’m looking forward to the game’s release on September 9. I don’t know how much I’ll play as a fire team member; there’s no hiding my lack of skill in a team of only three players. But fortunately one can also play solo. The main thing I learned in the beta, thanks to my son, was how to operate an Xbox One microphone, a necessity for team play, and how to join a group. I also had a chance to try all three classes and I think I’ll start with a titan, the most heavily armored class. The game allows all classes to use sniper rifles, so I can be a sniper with a better chance of surviving in solo play.

In addition to Destiny, there are four other games being released before the end of the year that I want to get sooner or later: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Far Cry 4, and Elder Scrolls Online. I’ve played and enjoyed all those franchises in the past, so it’s safe to assume each of the new releases will occupy me for several months. That’s entertainment well into next year. Sweet.

I know it’s … um … unusual for someone like me to be playing such games. But I figure at my age, I’m going to do whatever I enjoy for as long as I can. Besides, I’ve read that video games help maintain both reaction time and mental acuity. Just what the doctor ordered. My game playing will end when my fingers can no longer operate a controller or my eyes can no longer read what’s on the screen — whichever comes first.

18 thoughts on “Update from a gaming grandma

    1. I know it seems a bit odd. My son, now an IT developer, got me into gaming years ago when he first left home. It was a way for us to have fun together even though we were miles apart. I got hooked then and have been playing ever since.

      1. My son and I long ago loved to “blast” each other’s vehicle in a game called Tank. It was played on a setup that resembled a pinball machine. We were really unsophisticated considering all the whiz bang graphics of today on puters.

        1. We started with Everquest. Then I progressed through most of the big role-playing games (think World of Warcraft), some of them for several years before moving on. The role-playing and adventure was fun, but the big draw was the social aspect. Those other players became friends. I played with some of the same people for years. Yes, the graphics and technology now are really spectacular. That makes it even more fun. Much more realism, and now on a big TV screen instead of a computer monitor.

  1. 🙂 … I would love to see a photo of you deep in the throes of battle. Do you just use the standard obscenities in your quests or do you have some you’ve invented? I too do a little video gaming but I pretty much stick to a couple of old standard cuss words! I’m a “Call of Duty” man myself and haven’t ventured into the realm of sci-fi as of yet! May the force be with you…! 🙂

    1. Frustration and cursing are the same no matter what the game. When I finally decided to try the genre, I had to decide between CoD and BF. Read reviews, talked to my son, etc. Finally opted for BF, although it is just about as buggy as the reviews say. That can be frustrating, but it’s still great fun.

  2. As I’ve said before PT, I’m not much into gaming. But I continue to marvel at your interest in them and willingness to go where I wouldn’t dare! 😉

    BTW, I changed my gravatar days ago but I keep getting weird “substitute” images an some sites like yours. Any thoughts on why? 😕

    1. Did you change it on both the Gravitar website and on the My Profile page on your WP dashboard? I’ve switched a couple of times between one with a border and one without but the right one doesn’t always show up. I’m still trying to figure that out.

        1. Have you tried clearing your browser cache? Although that’s probably not the problem, because I see the substitute too. I’d try resizing the image to exactly what the two sites ask for and then upload it. I’ve been on several sites where if the uploaded image doesn’t exactly match their size specifications, the upload simply doesn’t register. If that doesn’t work, by all means ask about it in the WP forums.

          1. The thing is, neither site specifies a size. Since I know the the old one worked, I resized the new one to 128×128 and that seems to have worked! 😀

  3. Games are a very real way to stay connected as technology advances …and it’s fun…wish I could keep up – tend to wander off and get distracted – probably helps if you have friends/kids/grandkids in the mix – it’s a social event!

        1. That’s my son’s problem. He got me into all this. Then he got married, started a family and career, and rarely has time to play anymore. Plus a lot of action games (with scary stuff, shooting, killing, etc.) are inappropriate for his young kids to see. So he’s limited mostly to shorts stints with sports games.

          It’s worth noting, however, that “exciting” games aren’t the only ones available. Anything you can play on a computer is likely available on console — puzzles, spelling games, solitaire, quizzes, etc.

... and that's my two cents