The other day was my friend Annie’s birthday, so naturally we hung out. Knowing that I’m obsessed with a quaint little game called Halo: Reach, she proposed that we head over to her house to play it. After all, nothing says quality time together like a couple rounds of shooting your friend in the face repeatedly.

 

I, of course, agreed immediately to this ingenious proposal, because it had been a while since I picked up a controller, and my trigger finger was getting a little itchy. The next thing I know, I’m sitting in Annie’s basement playing on Forge, which is not quite the same as Slayer, but we managed to fit in a fair amount of snipings, backstabbings, and my personal favorite: death from above with Banshees.

 

So anyway, we were playing on Forge (which I’m freaking amazing at, by the way. I’m so pro, I can lay down building blocks WITHOUT the item rotation snap. Plus, I’m humble about it all), and we were making our own little forts on opposite sides of the map. After about an hour of playing (and fifty awesomely laid building blocks), I realized that we were playing house. How is this any different than setting up bedsheets over chairs and sofas?

 

We were playing the exact same thing we used to play as four- and five-year-olds, except that now, everything is virtual, and instead of making something to live in, we were making something with which to defend ourselves. It’s not that big of a difference, because once we’re done with our little forts, no one would dare attack them! I’m sure not going in blind to Annie’s giant, turret-infested fort, complete with sniping towers and teleporters that lead to who knows where! Well, only Annie knows, and that’s the point. The greatest advantage you can have in a game is knowing the territory. And I suppose that’s part of the appeal of Forge: you can make a map in which only you know where all the trap doors and secret staircases are.

 

But I digress. My point was: I find it a bit amusing that, here we are, a little over a decade later, and we are still playing house. It may be a different, more high-tech version, but it is house, nonetheless. I don’t feel ashamed to be revisiting the make-believe games of my childhood, because after all, I freaking pwn at Forge.

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