Lover Boy likes video games, something he seems to have picked-up while in the Army. It's cute watching him play; part of his endearing, boyish charm. I don't know squat about video games and I don't play. However, a few weeks ago I picked-up a game called Mass Effect 2. I saw it at the store while grocery shopping; it was cheap and said, "What the heck."
Over the weekend Lover Boy installed it and I watched him play for about an hour or so before we went out to spend time with family. He thought I was just watching to waste time. Little did he suspect -- I was actually enjoying the game play.
Last night he got home before I did so he was playing just to amuse himself. When I got home I laid down on the couch behind him and watched him play while he did battle. Once he came to a stopping point he started to shut down so he could spend time with me. I told him to keep playing and brought dinner out to the living room.
He played and I watched for more than 3 hours.
As far as story telling goes its pretty darned interesting. In one of the sub-plots a member of the protagonist's crew helped engineer a genetic virus to inhibit the prolific breeding capability of a very powerful and very aggressive race. The obvious justification was that it would prevent needless wars but then they learned what lengths the afflicted race would endure to relieve the curse. Add to that the moral dimension of what was essentially soft-core genocide.
It was actually pretty powerful watching the doctor debating with himself and the protagonist the extent of his actions and his moral culpability. His ultimate sense of shame seemed palpable and was emotionally delivered (kudos to the voice actors, one of whom is lead writer/director/actor for Robot Chicken, Seth Green).
The game is also well-paced with humor and the requisite gunplay to keep the boys' attention. The various races are portrayed as unique and deeply rich in detail. They feel like they come with a sense of history and culture. Obviously there is the entire interactivity aspect: you get to decide if you want to be a Paragon or a Renegade. You decide the course of the action sequences.
I have to say I was as entertained as I have been watching a good movie, if not moreso because you aren't just a passive observer (Well, I was passive -- at least until I told Lover Boy he had to stop paying game-money to watch the blue-skinned space stripper).
For $20 we're getting more hours of entertainment than we would for seeing a movie or whatnot.
Any thoughts, comments or game suggestions? I'd appreciate them.