To say that my writing has slowed down recently would be a bit of an understatement. I have done some writing in recent weeks but it has been nowhere near as prolific as usual. Here lately my time has been dominated by my latest obsession, Apex Legends.
For those of you who are not gamers and have not heard of Apex Legends, this is a video game. More specifically, this is what is known as a MOBA, multiplayer online battle arena. Some also refer to it as an online battle royale. Regardless of what genre you choose to classify it, Apex Legends is a FPS (first-person shooter) that pits teams of players against multiple other teams (or squads as their known in the game) in a free-for-all fight for survival.
This game, and others like it, have been around for a while. Games like Fortnite have been extremely popular and anybody with kids between the ages of 10-20 either have heard of the game or seen their kids do at least one of the dances the game has popularized in recent years.
In the past, games like Apex and Fortnite have not been my thing. I am more of an RPG player. I like games like Final Fantasy, Everquest, the Tales series, etc. I don't really do shooters like Call of Duty or Apex, especially online against random strangers. My kids have asked me to play but I either refused or would play a time or two before quitting because I didn't enjoy it.
Now fast forward to December 2021. Our third oldest son and his wife are visiting for the holidays. Having given birth to our grandson recently and on medical leave, they planned to stay with us for multiple weeks. So long was their stay that our son brought his Xbox from California with him when they traveled to our house in Texas. He is a big fan of Apex and wanted to play some with his friends and brother while he was in town.
One night, I got bored and downloaded the game to my PS5. When I had played with them in the past, I never practiced or anything. I simply jumped in and tried to play with them while they were far more experienced than I and more comfortable with the controls that were vastly different than my usual games.
After going through the tutorials and demos, I started to get my head wrapped around the game's mechanics, the different characters and their abilities, and just in general how not to suck as bad as I did in my previous outings trying to play the game.
By this time, our son and daughter-in-law had returned to California but I reached out and asked if he would play a few rounds with me. He was excited that I had joined the ranks of Apex and was looking to play more regularly despite my rookie status and capabilities.
Since that day, he and I have played almost every day together. That game has allowed he and I to reforge our bond and has helped me stay close to him even though he is several states away. We chitchat while we play. We invite my other sons to play with us or their friends. We run around for a couple of hours almost nightly together just enjoying the game. We win some, we lose most, but we don't care. He plays ranked matches when I'm not online so that my crappy play style doesn't drag him down too much but I have found that when playing with him that I can enjoy this game.
I don't know that I'll play this game much solo or with others but here lately I have been addicted to spending time with my son and playing this video game that makes him happy to play and me happy to play with him. Maybe at some point as our grandson continues to grow my son will have less time to play and I will go back to spending more time writing but for now, Apex and writing will just have to share what free time my schedule includes.