My husband put together a wonderful blog called Video Games and Marriage. You should go read it. The context will make everything I’m about to say a little funnier.

He mentioned in that post that I had started playing Portal with him. True. And it became a gateway drug.

(Portal. Gateway. Get it?)

Let me lay out my journey in a clearer picture.

That was me. Classic Nintendo. And before that, Atari. But I never moved on to SNES. Why? Because I sucked at gaming! I never beat the 8th level of Mario 3. Heck, I don’t think I ever conquered Mario 1! My proudest achievement? Almost beating Punchout.

Fast Forward.

I marry a geek that owns a PS3 and has a gaming obsession. That’s okay. He has his obsessions. I have mine.

But he and his buddies just had to play Portal 2 over the Christmas holidays. A new world opened up for me. Puzzles. Snark. Fun! This game was actually fun! And I wasn’t totally terrible at it. Mainly, I just wasn’t used to the much more elaborate PS3 controller. (Men, Nick was right about making sure you introduce your wife to a game that’ll have simpler controls.)

So then we tried Portal 2. I got through the first few levels no problem. Wheatley’s hilarious! The whole set-up and world delves into much more profound territory. And who doesn’t love Cave Johnson??

At that point, I’d call myself addicted. Because what I did next was so out of character… I started playing Half-life 2. Without Nick. I just sat around and played Half-life 2. At this point, I had ascended the ranks of controller difficulty. And when I wanted to play games, I started yearning for brainless stuff. Half-life 2 doesn’t have the puzzles that Portal does. Just shooting. And scary head crabs that look like Thanksgiving turkeys.

There comes a point when Half-life 2 gets darned frustrating. And at that point, I thought, what the heck. I’ll try Team Fortress 2. (Are you seeing the pattern? OrangeBox was my dealer.) And there… my addiction was fortified. This is my game. Fun, creative world. An array of silly characters. Team strategy. And a controller challenge. Oh! And with this one, I played online. With other people! Some of them sent hate mail my way for how much I sucked at first. But you know what? I kept playing. And I got better. As long as the servers are working, Team Fortress 2 works my brain and at the same time… relaxes it. I’m baffled by its prowess.

Here’s the video for the character I play all the time and a taste of the silliness of the game.

So that’s it. My name is Jess Adducci and I’m a gamer. Thanks for listening.

What games should I try? What does game playing do for you?

Jess Adducci

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Jess wrestles through story as a screenwriter & director. She's a sci-fi/fantasy nerd, archery champion, and big kid.

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