Last night, I threw a temper tantrum over a video game.
The only reason I’m admitting to this is because I’ve witnessed other people havethese tantrums, and I always wondered why they got so upset. It’s just a game, right?
Friends, I now know your pain. The power of the game is strong, and as the kids are saying these days, I completely just lost my s***.
For the past week I’ve been playing American McGee’s Alice: Madness Returns, and I’ve really been enjoying it. It’s been challenging but not so much so that I can’t figure certain things out after a few tries. I like exploratory games but I like combat too, and this game has both. It’s been awesome.
Then I got to the Colossal Ruin, an enemy who proceeded to own my face at least 50 times.* He shoots things from a cannon, he grabs Alice and chomps on her head (mmm…tasty tasty Alice), and he creates showers of burning things. You have to hit his weird baby faces and all I have to do that with is a Pepper Grinder.** My controls never seem to work, so even when I try to flee/dodge from him, I end up going all over the place and he still grabs me. To be fair, that’s probably on me. I’m not really the best video gamer in the world and my fingers don’t always do what I think they should on the controller.
I’m fine with challenges, I really am. I don’t mind having to take a few tries to defeat harder enemies because I like the learning curve. But in this case, I can’t find the learning curve and it’s frustrating because this one encounter…in Chapter freakin’ 2…feels a hundred times more difficult than anything I’ve done so far.
I should of just stopped playing and waited until I was less tired and less frustrated, but instead I played to the point of being so mad that not only did I cry, but I screamed at my poor husband, I kicked something, and I took the trash out and put laundry away (that’s probably a bonus of a temper tantrum…domestic stuff gets done). I did not vomit pea soup, but I think I may have come close.
While the game itself was frustrating, it wasn’t just the game. It was the reminder that I had just been wasting time when I have things I really need to get done, like packing for our move or cleaning or finishing my knitting projects. And since I hadn’t made any progress in the game, I felt like I pretty much hadn’t made any progress at life either.
I’m still angry at the game, not going to lie, so I’ve laid down some ground rules for myself if and when I decide to try it again.
1. I’ll play when J. Felbs isn’t home so he doesn’t have to deal with my meltdown.
2. I’ll limit myself to a half hour of play time if I’m stuck and an hour if I’m making progress (I realize this is harder than it sounds, but I’ve done it in the past and I can do it again).
3. I will not let my ability to beat a game enemy reflect on my own self worth.
Beyond that, I think I just need to start getting myself together again. I need to get some cleaning done every day, I need to get back to the gym, and I need to start limiting video games and computer time because they are a complete time suck.
I feel dumb for throwing a fit, but I know I’m not the only one to ever have done so, so I’m going to suck it up and move on. Tonight I’m going to read and knit and watch some Supernatural on Netflix. Eventually I’ll be back to normal and ready to keep calm and game on.***
*That may or may not be an exaggeration. It felt like 50 times but it was probably only 10. That doesn’t lessen the frustration level, though.
**I keep reading about a Teapot Cannon, but I don’t have that weapon. This makes me sad, unless it’s a weapon you get if you play a harder game. I’ll admit it, I’m just sticking to easy mode right now.
***Ha! That’s such a cheap meme shot, but I’m glad I got to use it anyway.