Gaming Together

Relationships come in all shapes and sizes. There are those loving, sharing and caring ones; those that make you get out of bed at 3 in the morning to get your loved one a glass of water because she is sick and that 20 feet between the bed and the fridge could quite possibly mean death. And then there are the ones that leave you curled in a ball, sucking your thumb and bemoaning the loss of whatever vestiges of sanity you might have had.

A good MOG’s purpose, besides all that fluff about “entertainment” and “fun” and “visual stimulation,” is to destroy that relationship.

Oh, there are some that masquerade as being ‘helpful’ to your relationship. Things like capturing a relic together or bringing down that Olthoi Queen are supposed to increase your enjoyment of each other, make you mindful of what the other does for you and contribute to your sense of teamwork.

Yeah. Right.

Where’s that teamwork when we’ve been on the hunt for that stupid rare spawn for the past 10 hours, our nerves are completely tried and we’re screaming at each other?

“No, YOU draw the monsters this time! You wouldn’t know a ‘heal’ from a ‘harm’ spell if your life depended on it!”

“Oh yeah? Well, let’s just see how well you do with a FACE FULL OF ARROWS! TAKE THAT!”

Chaos and much running amok-ness follow.

In most cases, that’s the exception, though. A normal MOGer is faced with a life of being completely misunderstood by your loved one, forced to divide your time amongst your loves and resented for the time you spend doing anything but giving your opinion on whether those sheets really match the drapes and if the drapes then, in turn, match the dishes. But it can happen -you could wind up so lucky as to have someone incredibly special in your life, there to love and hold you, to tell you where you left your keys, remind you not to leave the house without first putting on your pants, and generally make you happy. And to top it off: she likes to play MOGs.

Ah, Nirvana. Thy name is ‘MOGing Together.’

Yes, it seems like an ideal match. You are in love, you are happy and you have a permanent partner for adventuring. This is, of course, an unmistakable call to Fate to promptly kick you in the groin.

Oh, sure -you will try to be nice to each other. You will support each other in your adventures together. You will share treasure, loot, experience and a myriad assortment of rewards as you work towards that distant goal of being “Uber.”

And then, one day, one of you will get the other one killed.

It might start innocently enough: you mistakenly draw a 3-billionth level creature into your midst, where it promptly rips everyone’s heads off, steals all of your nice items, makes a few derogatory remarks about your mother, relieves itself on your corpses and then emails you warnings about the “Good Times” virus.

Of course you will try to be civil about it:

“Ah, I’m sorry dear. That was my fault.”

And she will reply, “That’s okay baby, no problem.”

And if it ended right there, all would be fine. But no, there has to be the one parting shot: “Just try to pay attention to where you’re going, okay?”

You will sit and simmer about that for a few seconds, then decide you can’t just let it go.

“We would’ve been fine if we would’ve gone the way I suggested. I told you this was too difficult a route, honey.”

And you will both be off.

“Oh? Well, love of my life, might I remind you that I told you to follow EXACTLY in my footsteps?”

“Ah, yes, of course, peach blossom, but if you’d just run instead of zigging your big butt all over the place…”

“Well if you knew how to actually FIGHT something instead of running crying to me every time!”

“Hey, it was YOUR idea to be the fighter in the party! I told you I didn’t want to play the healer, jerk!”

“Oh yeah? Well maybe I’ll bust you in the face a little bit and give you a chance to practice that Healing skill?”

“You want a piece of this?”

“Bring it on!”

Next thing you know, you’re both kicked out of the guild for in-fighting, banned from the
game for profanity and you have to replace most of your dishware. And get new curtains
to match them.

See, it doesn’t work. The secret success behind MOGs is that you never have to see another person’s face. Psychologists did a test: they placed 100 MOGers in a study. 50 of those MOGers, group A, sat in closed off booths. They were given only voice chat capabilities and access to a couple of message boards in case they needed to whine to the Devs. The other group, we’ll call them B, were placed in a room with long tables that faced each other, where they could talk back
and forth easily; high-fiving was well within reach and there was Mountain Dew aplenty.

After a one-week trial period, group A went on to take over their server, max out all their levels, finish every quest and cure cancer. Group B, on the other hand, erupted into a roiling mob, suffering a massive reality collapse and disappearing from existence. Psychologists were quick to lay the blame on the ability of group B to be able to see, hear and eventually touch each other forcefully. (Representatives from Mello Yello, however, tried to lay the blame on the staggering
amounts of Mountain Dew consumed, but were quietly asked to leave the building.)

See? Even reality itself hates MOGing with someone that you can see. The best MOGs are the ones that keep you far, far apart. All right, so I made that test up; but if they did do that test, I’m sure those would be the results you’d see!

Now the other side of this relationship nightmare is the one-sided MOG relationship. Where you are an avid MOGer and your mate, sadly enough, cannot stand MOGs. This introduces a discomfort into the relationship that has not been felt since Ed Wood first asked his wife if her shoes were “comfy.”

In the public sector, your partner is humiliated at your fixation, and lives in terror of the day someone will ask the two of you about your hobbies. She knows that you will start out just fine, discussing bike riding, reading, movies and so on; but then you will open your big fat mouth and blurt out something about “seeking out villainous trolls to do combat with to return the rightful heir of my kingdom to his throne!” At which point the person that asked the foolish question will gaze incomprehensibly at you for a moment, smile uncertainly, and go off to find someone less disturbing to talk with. Like the guy in the corner wearing nothing but his underwear and eating paint chips off the wall.

That is bad -but worse is when you find yourselves in a setting where another MOG’er is present. If this happens, your mate is just doomed. She might as well pull the ball peen hammer out and begin beating her skull with it, because listening to the two of you talk is going to be much, much worse -and there’s no hope of unconsciousness setting in to relieve her of the pain.

Let’s face it -it will be bad if you and your new friend both play the same MOG. You will begin telling hilarious (to you only) anecdotes about the time you fought the dreaded Guardian of L’och L’amaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh, only you forgot to equip your +5 axe, and instead had your +3 Cold weapon in your hand, ha ha, which everyone knows only adds to the power of the Guardian. And your new friend will reciprocate by telling you about the time she braved the evil Obsidian Planes of Pointy Death only, hee hee -get this -she forgot her mithril platemail, and had to fight her entire way through using only common chainmail! About the time both of you are high-fiving each other over your tale of the first enchanted sword you held, your respective mates will have teamed up to drag the bookshelf over to you so they can drop it on your heads.

But worse than that -yes, such a thing is possible -worse than that is when you don’t play the same MOG. When you, in fact, play competing MOGS, and you are both fervent in your belief that yours is the better. Then, heaven forbid, furniture must be dragged out of the way, children locked away and the windows covered in tape as you unleash the depths of your MOG-jitsu to show each other the error of your ways.

You open with a devastating uppercut to the lower quality graphics of her MOG, but she counters with a block and a spinning In-Depth Storyline to your throat. You break away, probing her defenses for an opening in her Dev Attentiveness. She unleashes a flurry of quick Intuitive Interface and User Friendliness kicks, but you saw that coming and sidestep with a smashing Buggy Release kick to the head. She is staggered, but rallies and drives you back with a pair of quick chops to the Poor Driver Support. When all looks lost and she’s ready to descend upon you with a crushing Corrupt On-Line Team, you surge to your feet and release an Upcoming Sequel right to her face! She collapses in a defeated heap, leaving you to dance victorious while the crowd gathers around you to lift you upon their shoulders and parade you through town, rejoicing at your freeing them from the lesser-quality MOG! Ah, sweet victory!

Right. But what actually happens is you are just warming up with a “Oh-my-god-that-game-went-out-in-the-’90sl” line, and your partner grabs you by the throat, drags you into a closet, and informs you that if you mention one more word of your STUPID GAME to ANYONE, she will personally rip your head off and do something disgusting down the holes that are then exposed. You are asked if you understand, at which point she releases your larynx enough for you to gasp out a few words of incomprehensible stammering. Then you are dragged back into the party, only to see the red marks around the throat of your comrade-in-MOG and understand that she, too, just got the same talking to.

That’s just the public problems, mind you. There’s a whole world of problems awaiting you at home. You are asked to help fold the laundry, and you protest that if you leave the MOG now, the rare monster that spawns once a decade will certainly appear and you will have missed your chance for the mystical sword that will allow you to cleave your foes in one mighty slash! This will be greeted with an icy stare. Ignoring said stare and continuing to protest will result in severe bodily harm, so you immediately acquiesce, confident that when you’ve helped with one chore, you won’t possibly be disturbed while you log back in and attempt to drive back the evil G’log G’lurp and his odiferous Viking minions! Then, as you near completion of the folding, mind adrift in the perfect strategy that will surely make the fabled White Moose appear and give you his powerful Horn of Slaying Things (+14,523), you are told the rest of your chores for that day.

All 4,537 of them. None of which involve defeating evil minions, mystical swords, or enchanted mooses.

So there it is: the life of a MOGer is a lonely one; often misunderstood, frequently mocked and sometimes punched in the face and sprayed with mace. What could possibly drive us on so?

Well, duh. The game, of course. I’ve almost gotten the rank required for that Medium Fighter, and after I get that baby, we’ll just see who’s Man of the House!

“Kwipl Are you still playing that stupid game? Get in here and do these dishes, High-Commander-of-the-Universel”

Uh, yes dear! Right away, Love of My Life!


By Mac

  • 10. A MOG never has a headache. / A MOG seldom yells back when you yell at it.
  • 9. A MOG will not beat you if you find its sister attractive. / A MOG doesn’t wonder Why there is more dog hair on the carpet than on the dog.
  • 8. A MOG never asks you where dinner is. / A MOG will not complain about your eating dinner in your underwear in front of it.
  • 7. A MOG won’t point out how much weight you’ve gained since you first met. / A MOG won’t declare the bathroom off-limits as a science project or pharmaceutical experiment.
  • 6. If you’re home late, your MOG won’t be upset.
  • 5. A MOG never fights over the remote.
  • 4. No birthday/anniversary to forget (although we’re betting you remember the first time you played your favorite MOG).
  • 3. You don’t have to buy presents for your MOG.
  • 2. A MOG will never ask you if it looks fat in this dress. / MOGs don’t care if you check out other MOGs.
  • 1. A MOG never demands that you get off the computer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *