Zac has a video game he likes to play. It’s called Hearthstone. He loaded it on my iPad months ago, thinking it would be easy enough for Ruby to learn and they could play together.
It isn’t. Easy, that is. At least, not for me, video game virgin. Well, I’ve played things like Pac-man, Asteroids and Break Out. Maybe a couple rounds of Centipede and some little kid games on the PC. Does my confession date me? Yes. But what you need to know here is that I stink at computer games, other than solitaire and word search things. I do okay with Bejeweled. And that’s it. Ultimately, I don’t care much for them. I’d rather read or get outside. I haven’t found any game to be all-engrossing. Besides, why keep doing something you have no interest in and aren’t good at, anyway?
I realize over the years that I’ve lost touch with Zac in some ways. I’ve tried, off and on, to learn Minecraft and other favorites. But I never got anywhere. Both of us ended up frustrated.
“Mom, why are you chopping at the sky?” he would ask, as I tried to get wood for my bed.
Hearthstone, Zac assured me, was simple enough for even me to grasp.
We spent over an hour last night, curled up on the couch, looking at tutorial videos on Youtube.
“So this is the minion card,” Zac said. “You can play them, but they can’t activate until the next turn.”
“And you get Mana stones each turn. ” A line of blue crystalline stones shone on the right hand corner of the screen.
“This Primordial Ooze card has 3 health, but 2 damage. If you combine it with the Lizard King and his weapons, you can taunt the minions on the other teams…”
This game originated with the World of Warcraft series, as a subset. It became so popular it struck off on its own. Apparently, like most popular video games, it’s set in the medieval period. That’s when everything funky happened, like druids roaming the streets and sword fights erupting at any moment over a stolen gold coin. I listened to him talk, excitement and understanding in his voice. Try as I might, I could not follow his explanation. He pointed out battle strategies. We played a mock game and he pulled up my cards as they got dealt, striking the opponent’s cards on the board.
“See, you want to take out the other guy’s cards. Then you take out the head guy,” he said.
Finally, I realized I was getting all the subtlety of the game and not the basics.
“Pretend like I’m 6 years old,” I told Zac. “I need something more basic.”
He pulled up a written (yay!) explanation of each component and how they all work together. Slowly but surely, it’s starting to come together. It’s beginning to make sense. Maybe, just maybe, we can play together on his field.