Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Perils of a Casual Gamer

It is kind of funny if you think about it.

The wife of an "Esports Shoutcaster", doing a blog about casual, noncompetitive gaming.

I get it. The irony is not lost.

Allow me, however, to explain. I love watching esports. I love hearing, first hand, the ins and outs of the tournaments first hand, I love the set up, the hype, the community (for the most part) surrounding and supporting the game.

When I play however, give me a pace that is a little, well.... more casual. Maybe even just single-player, solo play.

Why? It is a mix. When I play, high-level stress does more harm to me than good. And unfortunately, it's because a few people are jerks.

There is such a focus and concentration on professional That they believe unless you are knowledgable and very frickin good at the game, you are not worthy to play in the first place.

Now, before you go all "NOT ALL GAMERS" on me, notice I said a few. It only takes a few jerky-jerky-boogerheads to ruin a good thing. Take Overwatch for example. I absolutely refuse to play competitive. It would be fun to see me rise in the ranks, and learn to play on a higher level. But I became burned out with the negativity and the in-team trash talking. What made it worse is that the moment I tried to use my mic to communicate, they found out I was a girl, which made it so much worse. Now, again, this wasn't all the time, but even once is enough, and two times is too much.

For someone who is in a field in customer service and making sure everyone is happy, having people judge and berate you can be exhausting and stressful. I just want to play the game for crying out loud.

So, you would think, more slow-paced solo games would be more my speed, right? You would think so. Yeah, Hearthstone is ok. I get friend requests from opponents, but because I use my original handle and, again, don't like stressful confrontation, I hardly ever, if at all, respond to those requests. So I can be more of my own gatekeeper, so to speak.

Pokemon Go was great. For a while. This instance is actually why I created this blog post in the first place.

I was playing on my lunch break, professional clothes and badge and all. I was approached by someone who could tell I was playing, and asked if I was taking this gym that was right there. I responded with yes, I was. I guess that opened up some kind of door, because he started talking at me about the game, and how only hard-core fans are playing now and why he joined (to which I couldn't tell you because he started spouting off words that honest-to-goodness sounded like a different language) I nodded and continued to grind to take this gym. Literally, buried in my phone, clicking like a madwoman trying to defeat 5 Valor Pokemon to get the gym for Mystic. He asked if I played Pokemon before Pokemon Go. I replied, no, not really. He scoffed. Then he asked what rank I was, to which I proudly replied that I just reached 28. Again, a scoff. The conversation ended when Breaky came up with our daughter and I defeated the gym, just in time. We headed to lunch, and I realized he had taken the gym the moment I placed my Snorlax.

I started playing Pokemon Go because it was something fun Breaky and I could do together, then it became the driving motivator for me to be more active, especially during my lunch breaks. I stayed because the quests were fun and motivating, and I was seeing progress not only in my game, but in my walks as well.

No, I didn't play it when I was younger. No I'm not level 39. No, I do not play with the intention of becoming any kind of professional. Does not mean I am any less a gamer.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Dota Underlords

A blog post about Dota Underlords!

Long ago, it was determined I would probably never play Dota 2. Just as sure as we were that I probably would never play HoN.

Now, this caused an unintended consequence. I try to tune in to Breaky's streams and casts, which are primarily Dota 2, and for years had been HoN. Other than understanding the basics of who is winning(ish) and by how much (ish), I didn't understand anything.

I made some progress when we went to TI 7 in 2017 (while I was pregnant, I might add). Breaky explained so much of the game and those that were around us were super awesome in explaining things too, it almost made up for the reputation that sometimes clouds these MOBA games. Not so much as I would actually PLAY, but still. It was a great experience, and I would go again in a heart-beat.

Despite going to and enjoying a TI, I still don't understand Dota 2 the game. I now know some characters and the basic idea of what has to be done to win and I understand the scene so much better. I still go back to my trope of "when Breaky gets loud and starts talking super fast and there are lots of lights and sounds that means a big fight is happening." which, yes makes me seem like the ditsy wife, but it's true!

When Auto Chess came out, Breaky was trying to explain the game and how it came to be. He said he thought I may be interested, based on my love of Hearthstone. At the time, the only way you could play is if you actually owned and downloaded Dota 2, which I wasn't going to do as my computer is dangerously low on space (yay too many games!)

When it was announced that the makers of Auto Chess were creating a mobile version, I decided to give it a whirl. Knowing full well that this game was not from Valve or Dota, I still felt like this was a step in the right direction as far as being able to connect with Breaky on something Dota-ish.

Well, it was a little more than that. I started playing it quite a bit and became pretty decent at it, all things considered. Breaky commented that he hadn't seen me so obsessed with a game since Hearthstone.


Once Dota Underlords came out, I definitely downloaded it on mobile and on my PC. I've pretty much been playing every day since. Now I am not at the level of Breaky (Mr. Boss rank person) and I still do have a lot to learn, but I am thoroughly enjoying it.

One of the great things is that it allows me to be so much more involved and understanding of something that Breaky is involved in as well. He's started casting and hosting Underlords tournaments, which if you play, you should totally sign up for. You can follow him on twitter at @breakycpk for updates and tournament information and/or follow and subscribe to his Twitch channel:

So long blog short, I love the game, and I am so excited to finally be involved in a game that Breaky both enjoys, plays AND casts. AND I can understand what he's talking about when he does cast these professionally. I feel like this is going to be good for our marriage. Right?

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

You May be an Esports Significant Other Part 2

I did a blog post about what happens when you are an esports significant other.

The post can be found here

I figured it was time for a little update.
So here we go

Friday, May 10, 2019

Food Friday: Rice Pudding

Welcome back to Food Friday with the Good Geek Wife. 

Rice pudding is something I used to only make around Christmas time. In fact, it is a part of our Christmas family tradition two days before Christmas when Breaky, and now BabyCPK celebrate Christmas as a small little family before heading to celebrate with more family. 

Well, come to find out, it is a hit any time during the year. Including a big hit for the BabyCPK, who, let's be honest is more of a ToddlerCPK at this point.

So here is my recipe that I use for my rice pudding. 

  • 2 cup cooked white rice (or however much rice is left after making WAAYY too much for dinner)
  • 2 cups milk (or 1 cup half and half or 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup creamer)
  • 1/2 cup sugar or stevia
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • as many raisins as best suits your fancy
In a saucepan, combine rice, vanilla and sugar. Cook uncovered over mediumish heat until thickened, stirring often. We usually serve cold, but some serve it warm. If it's during the winter, we will actually just stick the whole pot in the snow to cool it down. Because=Michigan.

Then you add raisins when you are ready to serve. If you are feeling super fancy or if it's Christmas time, adding a little cinnamon could be fun too.