To play the game

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My family and I play board and card games fairly often, but
my most memorable game experience happened 17 years ago when I was 8 months
pregnant with my 4th child.

My husband and I were both pursuing undergraduate degrees,
so sleep was a highly prized commodity.  Especially by me, since the pressure of
studying while caring for three children left me constantly tired.
A friend had given us a computer game called King’s Quest. One night my sister-in-law
dropped by to visit, and after we had put the kids to bed we decided to give
the game a try.
It was a game for one player, so my husband ran the controls
while my sister-in-law and I looked over his shoulder. We were backseat drivers
of the worst kind, telling him to touch that tree, go this direction, talk to
that man, and save this object.
Luckily my husband is a very patient man.
A child called out in her sleep and I looked at the clock.
Midnight! What were we thinking of, to sacrifice precious sleeping time to play
a silly game?
Yet on we played, drawn in by the need to reach the end of
the game, to finish the story, to rescue the princess.
After several more hours we were trapped in an underground
cavern, struggling to make our tired brains detangle the puzzle that would
allow us to escape. I was focusing so hard on the game that I jumped when a little
hand tugged at my shirt.
“Mommy, I want breakfast,” my three-year-old daughter
whined. I looked up to tell her to go back to bed, until I saw sunlight
streaming through windows.
It was morning. We had played the entire night.
That was the last time I ever really played a video game.

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