Or at least trying. As my gamer boyfriend reminded me again last night, I was never a very good console gamer – all that dexterity and such. I am much better with a mouse and keyboard configuration. But alas, my research is on to console gaming these days, so I have no choice. As I have mentioned in my last two posts or so, I am playing Mirror’s Edge, and keeping a play journal in light of my working theoretical framework. When I first started, I thought I would have no time to scribble notes since I imagined being so embroiled in gameplay. But the reality is, I spent over an hour last night stuck on the same spot in the second chapter. Pathetic really. I KNOW what I am supposed to do. Where I am SUPPOSED to go – but getting my hands, fingers, and eyes to coordinate with Faith’s hands and body is a larger feat than I had anticipated. So far, I have spent way more time trying to master the controls (over a ridiculously long period of time actually.. I am embarrassed to admit how long) – let’s just say long enough to feel that each bit of advancement seems only relevant to my sense of self-worth and not in any way tied to any sort of progression in the game.
The thing with Mirror’s Edge, is that some of the controls – and what you are supposed to be doing – is tied to this control mastery. In order to successfully make your way across the rooftops, it requires a speed and agility to make the leaps and slides longer. If you cannot accumulate enough speed along the way, you miss the jump (or get squished repeatedly by the closing gate). If my sense of navigation and vision (LS + RS simultaneously) wasn’t so bad, I might have a hope in hell. Instead, I am painfully making my way inch by creeping little inch across the game’s landscape. And so, my identification with Faith, and any hope of getting ‘into’ the game is dampened by my unskilled hands.
Another thing I noticed over the last two weeks of gameplay, is that I am A LOT more patient when I am alone. When I am the only one in the room, I can die and reload a hundred times (thanks to a very quick reload, and close save points – hundreds isn’t a far off count!) – no stress. But when my partner or daughter are in the room watching, I suddenly get agitated quickly at my lack of skill. It doesn’t help that my partner keeps telling me where to go – what direction to head towards; or that my daughter keeps asking me if I want her to take over, and help me across whatever section I am struggling with. Needless to say, I don’t play very long when they are in the room.
On that note, the house is empty, best log in a few more hours of ‘play’ time before someone comes home and offers to ‘help’ me.