Better late than never

You already know Marilyn is a stay at home mom, blogger, and blog designer but you would all probably be shocked to learn that she is also a gamer from way back.  Truth be told we are both gamers and have been for several years but we’re not here to talk about my “problems” or “addictions.” Nope!  We’re here to talk about hers!  She’s no n00b but rather has 1337 skillz.  One could say she is an pwner and pl0x don’t ask her for free stuff because you died.  For all you non-gamers you’ll just need to pretend to understand what I just said.  Here’s a sampling of some of the games Marilyn has been addicted to….I mean has played…over the years: 

Civilization (or simply “Civ”) is a strategy game that entails building your very own civilization from “scratch.”  The real beauty of the game was that you could accomplish this in a relatively short amount of time if you knew what you were doing.  Our friends introduced us to this game and wasn’t long before there was a group of us hanging out in the computer lab playing multiplayer trying to nuke each other out of existence.  Needless to say this was very addicting.  Marilyn continued playing Civ long after I lost interest and even played Civ2 and Civ3 though neither one could quite match the simplistic beauty of the original

Ahhh…MUDS.  Where to start?  Before there was Second Life or WOrld of Warcraft or even  Runescape (see below) there were MUDS.  The term MUD stands for Multi-User Dungeon and were inspired by paper and pen role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons.  Most kids college age or younger will stare blankly at you if you mention a MUD in casual conversation much like they do if you mention DOS.  They were text based role-playing games in which you created and avatar and proceeded to “level” and gain “status.” Leveling required countless hours performing a task over and over and most power players used some sort of a utility that allowed them to step away from the computer and let it do all the work.  Status was what you gained by finding such “macroers” and killing them.  Marilyn was definitely a macroer and had strong disdain for players who only played for status.  The kiddies may think that World of Warcraft was a completely new idea but most of the ideas for these games were developed from MUDS.  I can remember many a night when we were newly married wondering when Marilyn would come to bed only to find out she had pulled an all-nighter leveling a skill.  This was of course before we had children.  Ever wonder where the name CallistWOlf came from (for those of you who don’t know this is Marilyns primary gamer tag)?  One of the primary types of MUDS Marilyn played was called God Wars and players could choose to be a vampire, werewolf, demon, or angel.  Marilyn joined up as a werewolf and always liked the name Callista (which is also a Star Wars reference…hmmm perhaps I’ll blog about that next week…right Mara Jade?) and hence CallistaWOlf was born.  Now you know.

The Sims:
The Sims was (is in the form of The Sims 2) a dollhouse for grown-ups and as such attracted a devoted female following.  Casual players found it merely entertaining but the truly addicted would move on the setup games such as “Trollops and Johns” which entailed building a large house populated solely by female characters.  Points were gained by the female characters attracting computer controlled male characters to the house and engaging in various activities.  Points were gained if a male character gave a female character a backrub, kiss, etc.  Of course certain activities earned more points than others and the idea was to self-track your points an post them to a web site or forum where you competed with other players.  Another popular thing to do was to reject the lame default furniture and items provided in the game and download your own.  This spawned a fairly successful cottage industry with graphic designers making and selling their own furniture and object sets and Marilyn cashed in on this herself.

Ever heard of Halo 3?  Well waaaay before Halo 3 was the original Halo and its successor Halo 2.  Halo 3 is essentially the continuation of the other two which explains why most people who are playing Halo 3 for the first time are like “what?”  Both Halo and Halo 2 were released on XBOX but eventually made their way to the PC (Halo 2 more recently) where they gained huge followings for both console and PC players.  Arguably the PC versions of the game built a huge user community with players joining “clans” and engaging in competetive play in “squads.”  You may have heard of MLGPRO?  If not these are essentially the best Halo players competing in large tournaments and earning upwards of $100k/year playing Halo.  Marilyn and I both joined a Christian clan (}CoG{) and are still actively involved although she participates mostly as a Runescape player these days.

Runescape (or “RS” for short) is what we call in the gaming world a “Massively Multi-Player Online Role Playing Game” or “MMPORPG.”  These are basically graphical MUDS.  The advantage of RS is that it can be played one-handed on a laptop while doing other things.  For her part Marilyn is currently level 97 (I’m only level 93 😦 ) and has recently achieved her quest cape!  We both got started playing RS when our second son was born simply because we were looking for something that we could stop playing in a moments notice and come back to days later if need be and pick up where we left off. 

So there you have it!  A small sampling of the things (besides our children who ALWAYS come first) that Marilyn spends her free time on.  I’m still working on next weeks post and Marilyn keeps asking me “what else embarrasing about me can you post about?”  Trust me..there’s more so check back next week.  Lolz!