What do you do when you find out the person who you've been sharing a video game with has been playing that game without you?
When I found out that MTV News copy editor Katie Byrne was having just this issue with "Super Mario Galaxy" and her boyfriend, I asked her to write a piece for the blog.
Did her boyfriend break an unspoken gaming rule? Here's Katie...
When in a relationship, a lot of times "mine" becomes "ours."
Sometimes that can be quite convenient, like when "Super Mario Galaxy" was released a couple of weeks ago and instead of paying 50 bucks for it, I only paid 25.
The day my boyfriend, Dan, and I got the game home and unwrapped it, a few decisions had to be made about how we would split our purchase. We decided we'd explore the new "Mario" adventure together under his Mii and take turns playing the different levels. When one of us needed a drink break, the other took over. When the phone rang, the controls were handed off. When a really cool world popped up, we each took a stab at it. When friends came over, we gave them some time with the game. All was going well, and we had amassed 19 stars as a team.
Then Thanksgiving arrived. I headed to my parents' Wii-free home to feed myself all the turkey and stuffing I could handle instead of feeding star bits to Hungry Lumas. The day after Thanksgiving, I received this picture message on my phone:
Thirty-six stars! Dan had nearly doubled our total. Part of me was happy he was keeping himself busy since the rest of our roommates and most of our friends in the area had gone out of town for the holiday, but the other part of me felt left behind. What had he discovered in the game that I hadn't seen yet? How far was he from saving the Princess?
"Nice" was all I could muster for a text-message response to the picture. I probably should have written, "WAIT FOR ME!" but I bit my tongue (or sat on my hands, I guess, as far as texting is concerned).
Then the next day, another cell phone message: "So much Mario ... over 50 stars."
Couldn't he read the underlying message in my previous "nice" response? I mean, come on, if I had been excited about his rapid progression, I would have included an exclamation point or a smiley face, obviously. At this point, I was at a hockey game, so instead of straining a phony response, my next text read, "Red Wings tie it up!"
It was official: My Mario "team" had cut me loose and gone ahead without me. "Fine," I thought. "I'll just start a new game with my Mii when I get home and beat the game first!"
No such luck. When I called Dan on Sunday to confirm my airport pickup time, the inevitable had come true. "I beat the game!" he exclaimed. I feigned enthusiasm but was secretly bummed to have missed out on the achievement. It wasn't the same when he beat "Prince of Persia: Rival Swords" months earlier, because I didn't have a lifelong connection with that video game like I do with the "Mario" franchise.
But enough of my whining — what am I going to do about it? Well, I'll start from scratch. The upside to this situation is I have my own personal intergalactic tour guide. There will be no more searching through the guidebook to find how to pull a lever. The truth is, we probably never should have shared a character from the start. A video game is something you need to explore at your own pace, and one person is bound to put in more time than the other.
So, Multiplayer readers, have you ever tag-teamed a game with a significant other, roommate, friend or family member? If so, what happened? And is sharing overrated?