Hey, Gamers! So today is Valentine’s Day and although Josh and I don’t tend to celebrate it, I thought I should do a post showing the cute things he does for me when playing games that make me feel loved. The point of this post is just to show how little things can be appreciated a lot. So, let’s get into it!
For reference, Josh and I have been together since November 2017. We’ve been living together since January 2018, and living on our own since September 2018. I got into gaming properly around December 2018. He’s really been gaming his whole life, whereas I was much more casual about the whole thing before I met him.
- He calls me into the room whenever he’s about to Evolve a Pokemon.
This is a pretty recent thing, starting around the release of the Sinnoh remakes back in November 2021. I always thought Evolution was cool and sometimes I judge the Pokemon based on whether or not it became more or less cute. That’s how it started. Then we watched the anime (he got me an anime poster for my birthday and the original Pokemon series was on it), and then Christmas came and he got me Let’s Go Eevee and now I just really appreciate the growth of each Pokemon, even if they’re not mine.
- He warns me if he knows a part of a game will be triggering for me.
I’m aware that this one is a bit unique to our relationship, but I have C-PTSD and throughout our relationship, Josh has learnt my triggers and for the most part, he is a really good judge at understanding whether or not something will trigger me. Oftentimes, before I start playing a game that he’s already played and he thinks I might get to the triggering scene in this session, he watches me play and we have a light conversation about my mental health and stuff like that. It’s never too deep. I think we’ve been together long enough that talks like this have become the norm, which is why it feels okay to have them while we play games. I specifically remember one time, I was playing Yakuza 0 and a character was touching a girl inappropriately. As a SA survivor, that would have triggered me if Josh didn’t warn me the chapter before. He said something along the lines of “hey babe, I know you’re having a lot of fun right now and it’s really intense, but I wanted to warn you about some upcoming sexual encounters so that if you need to, you can stop and save before you get there” and I just remember appreciating it so much because I was having a tough day and if it was a shock, it would have triggered me massively. Alternatively, I wanted to share an experience where he missed the mark a bit, and that’s with Persona 5 Strikers. Persona 5 Strikers is about trauma, so I tried not to ask Josh about it because I can tell when he knows spoilers and then I want to know… but I knew he looked things up because the game is literally about trauma and I am riddled with it. I was abused as a kid by a father figure, so the last jail’s trauma hit me- I mean, I was streaming but it was instant flashbacks. It was awful. I felt like that was something Josh should’ve warned me about (because I’m so used to him warning me about stuff like that), and so did he. He misread or misinterpreted what he had read and thought that the bad guy had accidentally killed his son. We were both very confused. But I wanted to share this because we both felt bad about that situation, but at the end of the day, I still felt loved because he was there by my side when the flashbacks were coming hard and he held me as I cried. I know he shouldn’t have to do all this, and believe me, my ex purposely put me in situations where I’d get triggered because he thought it was funny, but the fact that he goes out of his way to do this with most games that I play makes me feel so loved and appreciated.
- He calls me in whenever he gets an Eevee.
Leading on from talking about trauma, I have DID. To me and my system, Eevee is a great representation of that. Eevee was my favourite Pokemon long before I started playing Pokemon. But now that I have started playing Pokemon, my love for Eevee as a symbol has been carved into stone, so to speak. Josh plays a significant amount more Pokemon than I do (I have more household responsibilities so he gets to game more in general), and he’s in post-game in both BD and Legends, so he’s able to get as many Eevees as he wants… and whenever he does, he shows me. He literally calls me in from wherever and shows me. Sometimes he even has to wait until I get home, which is even cuter and makes me feel more loved because it’s been hours since he caught it and he still remembered to show me.
- He encourages me to do things my own way.
Before I met Josh, I thought looking up guides online was classed as cheating. The first guide I actually ever looked up was for my second playthrough of Persona 5 and I couldn’t put myself through Okumura’s palace again. It was this one particular bit that literally made me cry during my first playthrough, and it was the worst. During my second playthrough, I was trying to come up with solutions. After he suggested a guide, I went for it. Another thing that’s on a similar note and the same game is Kaneshiro’s palace. The codes are actually probably my favourite palace thing in the whole game, but I am both dyslexic and dyscalculic. Therefore, when playing Persona 5 Royal for the first time, Josh encouraged me to come up with solutions. He offered me some paper and I wrote each clue down, drew a bunch of lines and it suddenly became a lot easier for me. As someone as disabled as I am, I know realistically that games will never be fully accessible to me. That’s okay, because Josh helps me learn that I can do it in a different way.
- He never lets me give up.
There are very few times when I’ve given the controller to Josh in my game and made him do it. Actually, there are two times and they were both Yakuza games. One was the car chase in Kiwami because I was late to streaming and I was getting stressed out. The other was a chase scene in Yakuza 3, and after watching him doing it I realised that I was robbed because I was literally two steps away before Kiryu ran out of stamina. These times are so rare because we’re both stubborn. He doesn’t like seeing me upset, but oftentimes, Josh knows my own ability more than I do. Take the last fight of A Plague Tale: Innocence, for example. I struggled so hard with that, and I knew that I couldn’t react faster. Instead of just taking the controller, Josh sat next to me to calm me down. He talked to me several times about trying again. When he found out that I had tried again the next day (he was sleeping), he was so proud of me. We went on a date and over our meal, he was just encouraging me, talking strategy with me, talking the whole thing through with me. I think the only two games he’s ever let me give up on is Hitman (because it’s apparently painful to watch me play it) and Deathloop (but even with Deathloop, he still tries to encourage me). It’s the warmest feeling ever. He’s the most encouraging person I’ve ever met and he never lets me think I can’t do something (apart from playing Hitman… I think I’m banned from playing Hitman around him…).
- He gave me an Eevee.
Another Pokemon one because I swear it’s all we’ve played recently. I didn’t want to evolve my Piplup until Lvl 50, so for the longest time, I was mashing B. For reference, I play Shining Pearl and he plays Brilliant Diamond. So he said “catch a random Pokemon and I’ll trade a random Pokemon with you, and I’ll make it hold an Ever Stone so you can give it to Pippy”, so that’s what happened. I traded my Magikarp that I affectionately named James, and he traded me A LITERAL EEVEE. And then, bless him, he goes “oh no! I forgot to give it a nickname,” and he was super sad about it for a while. But it’s fine because I hatched an Eevee and called it Geralt and I’m going to use Josh’s Eevee to make an Umbreon (I really hope he doesn’t read this post because I’ve convinced him that I’m turning it into an Espeon because that’s my favourite, but Umbreon is his favourite and he gave me the Eevee so I thought it would be cute).
- He warns me about any tarantulas in his pockets.
This was one conversation but what a ride it was. I was trying to get as much candy as possible for Halloween in Animal Crossing, so he said I could go on his account to get some. Then he warned me about the tarantula in his pockets… I’ll link the post because- I cannot word.
- He doesn’t mock me for using dubs.
I use the dubs in all games because I am dyslexic. Before we met, Josh was very much the type of person to mock someone for watching the dub. He even does to some people. Yet, he doesn’t with me. It’s like we have a mutual understanding and I feel like, because of the whole me being dyslexic thing, he gets to appreciate how great the English VA can be sometimes. Persona 5 was the first game I had this ‘issue’ with, and it was so sweet he just didn’t say anything because it was just after I got diagnosed and I was a hot mess over that. Another thing I wanted to add (but doesn’t fit anywhere else) is that he is so encouraging with my reading. I loved the Witcher story so he bought me the books, even though I had major anxiety about reading at the time. He never lets me think for a second that I can’t do it.
- He never tells me ‘it’s just a game’.
Josh and I are both autistic, both diagnosed as adults. My whole life, I’ve been deeply engrossed in fiction. I think as a kid riddled with trauma, I used it as a way of escaping the current world and on top of my autistic traits, I’d always come across as obsessed. This is the one thing about me that I know that Josh absolutely adores. From The 100, to Harry Potter, to Yugioh and The Witcher and obviously Persona 5, he’s been nothing but encouraging with my love for these things. As a female with autism, I am overly empathetic and because of that, I get so emotional. If I had a penny for every time someone told me something along the lines of “it’s not even real”, I would probably be a billionaire. Instead, he comforts me when my favourite character dies. Hell, he knows that my favourite character is going to die and he is ready for it. My immediate thought with this is literally the other night and I was reading the Witcher (I’m on Lady of the Lake) and my favourite character died. It wasn’t explicit that she was dead yet but a flashback to her childhood happened just after she was injured and I nearly threw my book. He almost immediately knew what was going on. And he is the first person to not roll their eyes at me. Even when we’re arguing about our interpretations of Persona 5 (because this game means so much to me), he has never said “this doesn’t matter, it’s not even real”. Instead, he’s usually pretty calm and I feel like we’ve gotten good at being like “okay, we can never know for sure and we’re clearly not going to agree”. I think something I love about us is when we acknowledge that while the thing we are talking about is still important, our relationship is more important and Josh is usually the first to acknowledge that.
- He understands what I value and avoids doing it.
This one is going to make me sound bad but I don’t even care. Before we get into it, I know full well that he shouldn’t have to do this, and I want to make it clear that I have only ever asked him to do this once and it was for Persona 5 Royal because that game was everything to me. Josh has been gaming for so much longer than I. Therefore, his skills are so much better than mine. If he knows that I really value a game (for example, the Life Is Strange series), he will avoid playing them. I mean, for the most part, he doesn’t care about the game because we usually like different types of games, but in the case of Persona 5 Royal, I jokingly asked him to not get passed the point I was at because I can usually tell when he knows a spoiler (like right now, there’s clearly something with Volo from Legends Arceus but I’m not there yet and he is dying to talk to me about it), and he was like “yeah, I was going to try to not go past you anyway”. A sucky result of this is that he still hasn’t finished Persona 5 Royal because he had to stop in Okumura’s palace and… no one wants to do that. But I love that he recognises that we value different things and that even though he could very easily plat these games, he doesn’t… it makes me feel respected and like he recognises my hard work.
So, that’s it for this post, Gamers! I just wanted to share this because he does so many little things that make me feel loved, and I wanted to share that it really doesn’t take much to make someone happy. If you want to catch us streaming, head over to Twitch and look for 2nerds_1game (it should also be linked on my homepage), where we stream Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I hope you all have a lovely Valentine’s Day, no matter how you’re spending it. See you next post, Gamers!