Gaming with my Girlfriend: Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset Out of Hell

I play a lot of games and my girlfriend, Wanda, does not. I play games and she tends to play with her phone next to me on the couch, but she has been supportive of my endeavors with this site and is always willing to fix the numerous grammatical and spelling mistakes in my articles. Below will be a set of casual reviews, opinions and general stories about us playing games together. So, if you’re looking towards playing something with your significant other or looking into playing something new for yourself, let us regale you with our co-op adventures. Beware, some of these will include spoilers.

One of the selling points of online gaming is that it allows people to enjoy playing video games together without being a slave to the social norm of wearing pants. Of course, with a column called Gaming With My Girlfriend, not wearing pants seems like a way to spice up couch co-op, but despite being a “hardcore” gaming site, Steve won’t let me write those types of articles. Even though this choice for a game was shot down during last month’s column, it was only a matter of time before Summer and I took a trip to Tamriel together, and my favorable review of The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset convinced her to upgrade her ESO experience. This wasn’t strictly a romantic getaway, as Boy had to come accompany his mother.

They say you don’t know someone until you live with them, but a more accurate indicator of compatibility is trying to play an MMO with someone. What caused the initial spark between Summer and I is when we met one of us stated “I hate people” and the other responded with “me too.” It seemed like a perfect match where we can be antisocial together and share our loneliness with each other, but nothing like an MMO to remove the rose colored filter for viewing someone. I’m not a big MMO player, and one of the things I like about ESO is I can play as a lone wolf and still accomplish goals and have fun. My assumption was Summer was the same way, and we could team up. This was not the case at all.

Summer is heavily invested in her ESO guild and does quite a bit of guildy activities, like raids or whatever the devil you kids are calling these group missions nowadays. She has multiples characters whose classes and attributes are based around what role their respective guild needs her to be. I joined her on one of her guild outings which was a weird experience. I try to get out of my comfort zone in order to experience new things but the truth is I like my comfort zone, and having all this human interaction forced on me was a bit excessive. All of the guild members knew her and I was like a third wheel, but I tried to participate and make this into a somewhat positive experience in spite of the feelings of betrayal that she really isn’t as misanthropic as she claimed.

After we got done messing around with her guild-based gameplay we went back into doing things on our own. At least for a short while, because as things go we were only allowed a brief moment of game time alone before Boy decided to hop online. This may seem like a prelude to a buzzkill but ended up being kind of fun. The three of us ended up going into a crowded tavern and we all started doing push ups but there was a catch to this. We were basically trying to create our own ESO version of the human centipede, which is debatable how well we achieved this. Regardless it was something random and silly for us to enjoy.

After getting bored of our visit to Tamriel we decided to return to Steelport or at least a simulated version of it since Zinyak pretty much destroyed the world. The details of the plot of Saints Row IV are a bit foggy since it’s been a while since either one of us had played through the story mode. We both had save files with the main game completed so we just ran around in the game seeing how much mayhem we could cause with our super powers. As both of our characters were completely powered up this provided no real challenge and only provided short-lived entertainment. We went into the Gat Out of Hell expansion content because Hell seemed like a nice place to visit, but it was actually boring despite the novelty of the travel destination, but I guess Hell isn’t supposed to be an enjoyable destination.

Something that usually doesn’t get old about Saints Row multiplayer is trying to create the most grotesque and ridiculous-looking characters imaginable. This started back in the Saint’s Row 2 days where the options were more limited and the character design was a morbidly obese dude wearing a dental floss style woman’s swimsuit. Saints Row IV allows for more options like peg legs and other bizarre appearance options, but even this wasn’t enough to keep Saints Row IV engaging. Perhaps this was because we were engaging in old behaviors that we’ve done with other people, trying to recreate something that brought joy on previous occasions. The problem with doing that is those types of activities were memorable because of who they were with and trying to find magic in an old activity with a new person is a typical set up for failure.

Online gaming isn’t going anywhere and has many benefits and uses in modern gaming. Online gaming is a great way to stay in touch with friends whose lives have taken them to far away places or a good way to catch up with people and blow off some steam when everyone is too busy to meet up for a drink. It’s a good way to communicate and keep established relationships going, but not always the best way to build a new relationship, though my friend who met his wife almost two decades ago playing Phantasy Star Online would disagree with that assessment.

To read more tales with Chris and Wanda or some of our other writer’s special gals, be sure to check out the full Gaming with my Girlfriend library.

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