Let me begin this saying that I know little about computer gaming; once you go past online solitaire or Pac Man I am left staring at a fuzzy screen. But I am fortunate to have a lot of online gaming specialists in my family. Every one of them is an expert in playing their favorite games on their systems (yes, each one has their own individual workstation) and maintaining their personal teams of online partners and competitors. Sometimes conversations at dinnertime are about nothing but their game performance or tactics. Naturally I’m a bit out of my depth when they are chattering about these matters. So I focus my comments on matters like the family budget, home maintenance and improvement and their performance in their careers. It’s not on a par with these more esoteric subjects but it does hold a minor place of interest in home discussions.
I also manage to surprise them on occasion even when I have little understanding of the matter. For example, this year I decided that rather than throwing away cash on parties and events I’d treat each of them to something they could use to expand their systems. So I gave them a Groupon coupon to use with gift cards for buying accessories, games or equipment from GameStop, the best site I know for acquiring gaming hardware and software. The surprise at these gifts was worth far more than the total amount of the gifts. And they were all used in less than 72 hours; the house was so busy with them playing new or upgraded games that weekend that our pizza shop delivery manager expressed his thanks to me for the recent sudden increase in business! I told him he could thank me with a free three-topping pie with extra cheese any time he so desired.
I also took advantage of their new hardware to bring my personal “model T-type” computer system and workstation into the 20th century, using a Groupon to get some new software. It’s still not quite up with the young folks, but it’s good enough for my purposes right now, especially when I remember I still must learn how to use these toys. But at least now I can do a little bit more than just crosswords or solitaire when I play games online.