I took her to tea on Friday by cleverly tricking her into going to the Domain, and so she was certain that was her birthday present. But no. Saturday me and my sister went to Frye's, where I accosted a salesman and explained in short, sad words that I needed a PCI video card, because Mom's onboard video was about as useful as gum now and wasn't able to keep up with any games we had.
(I was *this close* to screwing up my careful budget to clear all my debt except student loans and ordering something from IBM for her when I found out how hobbled Mom's computer really is. I just--God. PCI? What kind of company limits your graphic card to PCI????? I got vaguely hysterical when I opened the case just to prove that yes. Yes. And also, no bay for a second harddrive. I cannot even deal with that right now.)
Anyway, finally found one video card, did not have nervous breakdown, got game, got her a DVD player (Frye's had a seriously awesome sale going on and her DVD player is, well, dead), went home, installed everything, and threw her into....
Okay, first off--okay, she first got uneasy by the idea of online play. I explained patiently (while making her concentrate on her character) how she didn't have to interact with anyone and she could totally ignore all people. Then the hugeness of the website. Then the amount of gameplay. Then...
Okay, this is sort of tricky.
My mom is smart. She's good at pretty much everything she tries, and I do mean everything. She's one of the smartest people I know, and a lot smarter than I am, and she learns *fast*, and I do mean fast. This is a woman who does the those crossword puzzles that have a difficulty of five billion stares in blue pen. She taught herself piano. She crochets with thread that looks invisible.
You cannot convince her of that. I pretty much blame her stepfather and to a lesser extent my father, but it's just--right there. She thinks she's dumb, and I won't even start to explain how much that irritates me, but I have learned ways to deal.
If it looks hard, if it looks complex, she will give up before she even tries, certain she can't pull it off. So. I have a system of working around this. I call it lying through my teeth. It works very, very well.
So I lied. I lied about every part of the game she brought up. I made up crap you would not believe, and I'd be ashamed, but this is how I get her to do stuff she thinks she can't do. I closed the website she was boggling at (also cleared the cache just in case) and I stared at her and said, trust me, this is just wandering around killing a few things. No biggie. A few quests. Almost boring, really. It's like Zelda-light.
Then I distracted her by having her create a character, an Elementalist, and getting her dressed and sending her out.
So my mother played about two hours on Saturday. I was encouraged but not sure--she might try to supplement what I told her by actually googling the internet and that could only lead to disaster and realization I'd seriously not said an accurate word. And people kept trying to chat with her and throwing her out of Jenn-created-Zen; I explained to ignore it and I would disable it or kill it or something (I have no idea what the hell I said; these were *desperate times*). I considered blocking google on her computer, then stopped myself. Mostly because she'd figure that out.
She clocked around seven-eight hours, not including one break for brunch, one break for the grocery store, and the hour before bed while she watched TV and pretended the reason was that she wanted to watch TV and not because she could no longer focus her eyes on the screen. Her character was like level fix or six and had some extra weapons and was doing something with these worms? That jump out of the ground? And something else. And there was this list of completed quests. Her graph paper notebook was out with notes and colored pens were spread out on the desk.
My thanks, astolat. That was the perfect choice.
(Child now wants in, and my middle sister has made faint noises about trying it. I--don't even know what to do about that.)