Sharing your home with your mother has all these hidden issues. What time should I bathe? Who lets out the cat? How much should I make for dinner because I still have no clue whether she’ll be taking care of herself or eating with us. And I’d throw laundry in here except our clay pipes finally gave up the ghost and laundry isn’t really an option at home anymore *sigh*
But it’s ok, because there’s WoW and gaming, right? Right?!
Since the beginning of January I’ve had to learn out how to cope with a person who likes to talk a lot. My quiet time has been reduced to hiding in the bathtub taking leisurely soaks (thank God prune skin goes away quickly). While I wish killing internet dragons ranked right up there with “quiet time” sadly it’s not been the case, but I’ve looked on it as a challenge: how to train your non-gaming room-mate to STFU!
We Bring You This Important Announcement
Maybe the first day, your new room-mate won’t notice that you’re a video game fanatic. I mean, I can live a couple weeks without putting my hands on a computer so long as the books hold out. However, when you’re at home, and you’re main entertainment is gaming: people are going to notice.
The thing is, playing Zelda and being in a raid are two different things. I can get up and wander away from my desk whenever I want when I’m playing something solo, but that’s not really an option in a group activity.
When my mom moved in, I let her know my raid schedule. I let her know that I wasn’t available during this time. That doesn’t mean that I expect her to remember that’s the case, so ~15 minutes before I log on for my evening of dragon-slaying, I announce that I’ll be raiding for the evening. This gives her a window to get last minute questions, comments, or requests in before I disappear for the night, and hopefully keeps her out of my hair.
I Can’t Hear You
I’ve owned a headset for a number of years, but my preference, and the kind that I don’t have now is the simple one headphone model. I liked it because I could still hear my game without the volume turned up to some ridiculous level. However, now that I’ve got a roomie, I’m really glad that I own a pair that actually has a full headphone set-up because it’s obvious that I can’t hear a darn thing.
It’s also a firm visual reminder that I am not available. If the house if burning down, the person can come make theatrical hand gestures until I get the thing off, but boy, wouldn’t you feel silly if you did all that hand-waving just to say we’re out of milk?
Eyes on the Screen
Sometimes there’s a lull in the raid. You’ll catch your roomie roaming in your periphereal vision and think “oh man, I could really go for a Dr. Pepper right now, I’ll just ask them to get me one.”
DO NOT DO IT!
When training your new roomie, you want them to think that every ounce of your concentration needs to be focused on the task at hand. That means no eye contact and no talking! The minute your attention is diverted from the screen, you are obviously available. Ditto for talking. If you ask a question, you’ve opened the flood gates, and as your raid powers back up to full steam, you’ll have someone nattering in your ear while you try to remember dance steps. Ugh!
If the worst comes to pass, and all obvious and subtle training cues fail, you can tell your roomie to shut up and get out; however, be prepared for your living room to combust or the hallway of frost to materialize if you go with this method.