Thursday = trash take-out day.
I had played a friend’s copy of Kingdom Hearts a few years back and got all the way to the last level, until the swooping cameras eventually gave me headaches and vertigo and I dropped it like it was “hawt.” But Katie loves Disney and I love getting Katie into video games, so I picked up a used copy of Kingdom Hearts (easy to find these days!). Didn’t tell her what it was, didn’t even show her the box, but I sat her down in front of it and just told her to give it a try. It’s confusing, oh, it is so confusing when you begin it, but when you first see the Snow White and Beauty and the Beast icons come up in the intro, things start to become clearer. It’s a Disney RPG!
And luckily, it became its own sort of co-op. I certainly didn’t remember squat about where to go and what to do from when I played it 2 years before, and she would have probably gotten frustrated by wandering around in the wrong places forever. So We teamed up; I sat next to her the entire time with a Gamefaqs walkthrough open on my laptop, while Katie played the game. I could take breaks from looking at the screen to do crossword puzzles and such, while Katie mowed down Heartless. It was great. She’s near the end of Kingdom Hearts II now, in fact.
Other games, both co-op (LEGO Batman, Champions: Return to Arms) and single-player (Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Catan) have followed, always with me either giving pointers or fighting alongside her. Now we’ve just beaten Castle Crashers and will probably pick up something else soon. It’s great, it’s something that couples can do by themselves that isn’t watching Netflix every night. I’ve been able to share my time and, more importantly, my interests with someone else, and it’s done nothing but pay off. Helping other people have fun is its own reward, isn’t it?
And dude? We just beat Castle Crashers! We are so awesome!
Ethan Kaye is a writer and performer living in New York City. His work appears regularly in Wizard magazine, ToyFare magazine, and on his website, www.ethankaye.net.