Until Dawn: My ill-fated venture into video gaming

Until Dawn - PlayStation 4
Sony Computer Entertainment

 I am not a gamer...at all. 

My husband always has been. When we were dating and first married, I thought he was the most considerate man in the world because on lazy weekends he'd look at me and with a gentle smile and say my favorite words, "Baby, do you want go to the bookstore?"

And, I LOVE going to the bookstore. Off we'd go, he'd patiently check out the magazines while I wandered through the aisles then he'd encourage me to buy a few and I'd skip out of the store like a happy kid with a new toy. That's when he'd casually add, "Hey, while we're already out, do you mind if we pop in this game store real quick? I just want to see something." 

In my new-book-induced bliss, I nod like a bobble-head doll. Inevitably, he'd "happen" to find a game he'd been thinking about it and purchase it. Then, I'd spend the afternoon (okay, sometimes, the afternoon, evening, night and early morning, ) reading while he played his game. 

Took me YEARS to figure out I was being had. 

Sneaky, but cute. :)

Sneaky, but cute. :)

He did attempt to involve me in the gaming. Once, he set me up on this game where I was a diver on an underwater jet-ski and I was supposed to be hunting fish or taking pictures of fish or finding fish, I don't remember. Something with fish. 

I was all proud of myself, checking out the underwater scenery, looking for the fish. After a good while of that he said, "Do you know you haven't moved? You're just turning in a circle." 

And I went back to my books. 

But he passed on this love of video games to our youngest daughter, who had a birthday this week and used her birthday money to purchase a new gaming system and some games. 

That's where the creepy picture at the top of the post comes in. 

Another important point to this adventure is I am proudly a BIG FAT CHICKEN. I don't do horror. I don't read it. I don't watch it. I don't want to hear the campfire stories. Absolutely NOT MY THING. 

My girls BEGGED for this game. I knew it was rated Mature. Both my girls are teenagers. They've both watched "play-throughs" of this game on YouTube and both repeatedly assured me that the M rating was about the language and some violence but it wasn't worse than an action movie. 

So I caved (which is something I rarely do.) 

The rule in our house is that computers and gaming systems stay in public areas so I knew I would still have veto power if the game got too inappropriate. 

We all settled in the living room with all the lights ON and the afternoon sun shining through every window. This game is more like a every bad teenage horror movie than a video game. The animation is startlingly realistic and it's the basic: cabin-in-the-woods-no-help-coming-ever-who-will-survive-the-night? storyline. 

I can tell you the answer to that is never: Dawn! 

At some point, for some reason, a boy in the game is looking for a can of deodorant to use in conjunction with a cigarette lighter to melt the ice from a lock because how else would you do that? 

He wanders around this empty house, finally locates a bathroom and reaches for the cabinet. 

This is when my oldest, who was playing at the time paused the game and said, "Mom, there's going to be a jump-scare here. Be ready." 

Jump-scare. Got it. I am an adult. It's bright enough to land an airplane in here. I'm safe in my living room. Not in a cabin on a snow-covered mountain with a possible maniac chasing me (we can put that on the list of place I NEVER intend to be). 

Bring it on! 

She resumed play. The character reaches for the cabinet. I brace myself. The cabinet opens slowly, revealing the can of spray deodorant. Nothing happens. 

Whew. I was worried for nothing. 

"Wait for it, " My youngest says. 

Oh, not over yet? Okay. I'm ready. I've got this. Nerves of steel, baby. 

The character grasps the can of deodorant, removes it from the cabinet. Nothing happens. 

*sigh of relief*  

The girls must have this wrong. They must be thinking of a different cabinet. Everything is-


Cue me shrieking like a B-movie actress.

This created a domino-effect.

My fearless, four-legged protectors both jerked from a sound sleep, barking as if the world was ending and my daughters had to stop playing the game. 

Not because it was too inappropriate. 

Because they were both laughing like drunk hyenas and couldn't manage the controller. 

Below is a picture of me taken moments after the incident:

Picture credit: Eric Gorski- flickr creative commons

Picture credit: Eric Gorski- flickr creative commons