Damn You, Sid Meier!

Civ V. Kinda like crack.
Civ V. Kinda like crack.

I was introduced to a wonderful invention during my college years: the computer game, Sid Meier’s Civilization. Suddenly, I was the queen of a nation. Not as good as the master of the universe, true, but I was still able to rule cities (build walls! Produce settlers! Manufacture a stealth plane!) and watch my people scurry around and grow, tamagotchi-like.

Civilization (or as we called it, “Civ”) ran rampant through my nerdy circle of friends, creating havoc due solely to its highly addictive nature (bomb your neighbor! Build the Pyramids! Send a spy to steal state secrets!). It caused:

  • Consecutive all-nighters
  • Missed exams
  • A sudden spike in coffee consumption
  • Delusions about being God
  • Reality to cease to exist

I thought I had left all that behind me until I visited my sister recently who was playing….Civ V!! Argh! And now, here it is, back in my life.

So now, instead of doing things like, I don’t know, cook and do laundry, I play Civ and neglect my boyfriend (and yes, still work). It’s great fun for me, but…not so much for him.

My boyfriend, John, doesn’t get it. He’s not into computer or video games to begin with, looking upon them as alien technology that sucks up people’s time and brains. I know, he’s the one who’s delusional, but I humor him.

Civ automatically confers upon you a leadership role that you don’t have to run for. No campaign or speeches, no glad-handing. There is something about crafting the progress of an entire nation. Boom! Here you are with a whole tribe of people you get to dictate.

Given how voting day for the presidential election is looming, it is somewhat appropriate that I have been playing as George Washington representing America. Civ designates the rulers of each nation with no switch-outs; as examples, Ramesses II is the leader of the Egyptians and Gandhi the one for Indians, so it makes it easy and non-controversial to play (on your part, since you don’t get to choose).

Ultimately, besides the staggering amount of time I have spent thus far on playing Civ, it has brought about an intriguing question: what would George Washington think about this current election cycle? I can’t but think that he would be completely confused and aghast. Forget that! I’M completely confused and aghast.

Damn you, Sid Meier! For creating Civ, which not only takes up my time and thereby creates strife in my personal life, but also actually makes me think about real life! You are a bad, bad person.

Conflict Resolution Skills: None

The Stop Fighting Emoji?

I have a friend, Nadia, who does conflict resolution for a living. It’s an actual profession. She gets sent to random villages in developing countries and performs miracles like stop a war between two tribes by getting them to agree on sharing the only clean water well in the region instead of fighting over it. Or decrease corruption in a community by stimulating the local economy to make the officials less of a bribery target for criminals. She utilizes charts and arrows and diagrams and probably emoji, too.

In contrast, I employ this strategy in conflict resolution.

Disapproving Rabbit
Disapproving Rabbit

Photo credit: www.flickr.com/photos/franie/3132472395

See how grumpy? And disapproving?

Case in point, see below.

Boyfriend: XYZ happened/you did XYZ! Why? Confusion??
Me: Dunno where the confusion is.
Me: Okay. Fine.
Him: What does that mean?
Me: It means I understand your point of view.
Him: Meaning?
Me: I have to think about it.
Him: Your reaction?
Me: I’m not sure how to react until I think about it.
Him: Immediate reaction?
Me: This continues to be an issue so maybe I just shouldn’t tell you certain things or react in certain ways.
Him: Huh?
Me: You don’t like it when I say X or when I do Y, so I just won’t.
Him: That doesn’t solve anything.
Me: Yes it does. It takes the trigger out of the equation.
Him: But that’s not resolution. I want to know what you feel about it!
Me: Feel? Or think? Those are two different things.
Him: Either, both! Argh!
Me: Okay. Fine.
Him: Meaning?
Me: Maybe if you don’t like how I do/say/think about certain things, maybe we shouldn’t be together. It’s not like I’m going to change all that much.
Him: Wuhhh? How did we get to there all of a sudden? I just want to talk and then you’re like, maybe we shouldn’t be together.
Me: It’s the easiest solution.
Him: Relationships aren’t suppose to be easy! They take work!!
Me: Why? Why do they have to? Why does there have to be conflict?
Him: Because that’s how people learn about each other, XYZ, points of view, We Are the World, etc.
Me: I don’t like this. I don’t like communicating and talking about feelings!!
Him: I know.

I can be such a pain sometimes. But honestly, I kind of like it that I can be.