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Elsa's blog
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Elsa avatar 7:04 PM on 09.06.2012  (server time)
I threw my husband off a cliff!

Yes, yes I did! I picked him up, carried him to the cliff edge... and tossed him off!! My husband and I had an argument about him wanting to buy a new car. He wants to buy a sports car that we don't need, because we already have an older SUV and a minivan that both work. He can't explain why he wants to buy an expensive car (that we don't need), and I guess it's a guy thing that I'll never understand. When we fight, I don't generally yell, I don't generally cry, instead I sulk and ignore - so I booted up my PS3 and pressed play.

Unfortunately I loaded up Dragon's Dogma and there he was ... my husband! Dragon's Dogma allows you to create a constant companion called a pawn that can be shared online. Other gamers can hire your companion as one of the 4 slots in their party. My initial companion was a female, but on my second playthrough I created a pretty good facsimile of my husband.

So there I was... with my husband invading my game! I picked him up... and yes, I tossed him off a cliff. It actually felt pretty good.. but it somehow wasn't enough. I went back to a riftstone and I re-spawned him - and then I got to play dress up! Most of the clothes in the game are fun to wear, but the dev who designed the clothes definitely favors women. Many of the outfits are female-only and most of the men's outfits (particularly for Mages) aren't very manly. I usually have my husband in a modified Matrix-look - a long coat, pants, boots, matching shirt... and no silly hat! It was fun to just let loose and try on different outfits and in the end I decided on the far right look! It was manly... in a Village People/superman kinda way! I felt it was a suitably humiliating fashion look on him for me to get some of my passive-aggressive anger out!

We fairly quickly did make up and our argument forgotten, I changed him back into his normal outfit, but the experience did make me think a little bit more about the experience of having an AI version of my husband in the game. Surprisingly, it does change the way I play. I can be battling a massive dragon and normally I just don't care if a pawn in my party dies - not when I'm so close to getting a kill! When I changed my companion pawn to represent my husband I found that I suddenly did care. I would hop down off the damn dragon and go heal my husband if he was dying. I started to make sure he had really good weapons and clothing- even offering him some gear that was better than my own.

Gaming is an odd hobby. I often do play games with my husband... with him in another room, on another PS3, but in the same game and on the same team. Sometimes we play couch co-op games. This experience of "creating" him as a character in essentially a single player game was an odd one. Trying to explain the experience to a non-gamer would be difficult... about as difficult as him trying to explain to me why he wants a specific type of car. All games aren't the same... and I guess all cars aren't the same either. He's always been supportive of my gaming hobby even before he took a more active interest in it and started gaming himself. He's bought me many different games and consoles over the years and rarely complained when I got lost in a game. I guess I don't really have to understand why he wants a new car, I just have to understand that he wants it.

... and just like real life, in the end... we do live happily ever after.

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