REPLY TO ALL: Awkward Gaming Conversations

The holidays can introduce some interesting conversations and awkward moments between family and friends. What types of awkward video game conversations have you been caught up in non-gaming family members or friends?

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Every Wednesday we pose a question on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. You can answer from Wednesdays through Mondays on Twitter with the hashtag = #RE2ALL, and in our weekly thread on and Google+ posted every Wednesday. Check out this week’s responses at the end of the post, and add to it in the comments!

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

I didn't want to be the one to bring this up, but...

Brandon (H21)
I’ll tell you I got a few awkward glances over the break as I kept raving over Battlefield 3‘s multiplayer experience and Skyrim. I talked multiple family members into grabbing BF3, and while talking to a family member about what we should try next I got a couple of glances from his wife. No matter. He and I are regularly gaining air superiority with our mad helicopter combo.

Skyrim was open to anyone who would listen. I talked about my experiences of going two days without seeing a single dragon to a two hour session in which I found two dragons pretty close together. That’s what I love about that game. Every time I put it in I get something different or new from it. That’s what so great about our hobby.

Am I right?

Justin G (GiffTor)
I don’t have too many really awkward conversations with my family about games since I seem to have even won over my old man with L.A. Noire. (He liked the cars). However, every time I talk with any of my future in-laws and someone mentions something about video games, it always comes up that I write for Horrible Night. Now, I’m proud to say that because this is a damned good site. My fiance’s proud of it because even though she’s not a hardcore gamer, she games and likes the site. Still, when I tell someone in her family who has protective feelings toward her that, in addition to my day job, I play and write about video games, I feel vaguely like I just told them that I’m infected with every STD known to man (and 7 only found in sharks). Not a single one of them has looked at me askance when I tell them about my affinity for gaming and writing about games; most of them have gotten excited and responded with, “Oh, man, have you played X?!” or “Can you help me download that onto my iPhone?” Still, it makes me nervous.

Justin L (JDevL)
At my girlfriend’s family gatherings when ridiculed for my interest in video games, I usually just yell “I RUN A GODDAMN WEBSITE” and then run out of the room crying.

Not really, but I thought that the imagery was too good to pass up.

Justin G
I was with you until the “run out of the room crying,” because I was too busy enjoying you yelling that and getting angrier and angrier like a cartoon. I suppose I could just start phrasing it in terms of “I’m a copy editor and journalist on digital interactive entertainment,” but her family tends to be sensitive to the distinct scent of bullshit.

This. ->

That’s what I pictured.

Justin L
Haha, that may have subsconsciously been my inspiration.

I find myself looking to protect the next generation of gamers in family situations, you know, from such terrors as the Just Dance franchise which some of the young ones were bickering about. But I mostly kept my mouth shut as my Kinect Sports Season 2 gift should distract them enough for now.


Apparently it's ok to hate digital puppies.

Rob (Robeque)
The most awkward game talk conversation I remember was at the Thanksgiving dinner table with my wife’s side of the family earlier on in our relationship. I was talking with my wife’s little 12 year old cousin who was telling me she recently got Nintendogs. While I haven’t played it, I’ve seen it played (I swear.) We were talking about the things you can do and I asked her about blowing bubbles for her dog. The rest of the group was suddenly silent and looking at me like, “what?”… Ummm..So how about them Bears? I should have just played dumb on that one.

Justin L
The PC crowd will get a kick out of this one as it was awkward in a different way than I’m used to. My girlfriend’s cousin is into games, but I’ve had a lot of trouble determining his genre of choice. So when he came up to me and asked if I was excited about D3 in 2012, I was dumbfounded. I could not for the life of me think of the game he meant. I was stuck picturing Mighty Ducks sequels and a horror franchise I never played. Just as I thought he was in way deeper on the video game rumors scene, he brought me down a few notches when he revealed that he was talking about Diablo 3. Ya, I overthought that one a bit.

Tiny Tower

Where is the bonding floor?

Aaron (BGRadio)
I keep trying to think of any real awkward gaming moments this holiday season, but a lot of my family and friends are now into games thanks to the Wii and Kinect. My parents, for example, got a Wii after I did and let them try it, then this holiday season was about them getting a Kinect after helping me acquire one. They even got iPhones and wanted me to put games on there for them. My mother even had, as far as I noticed, a brief addiction to Tiny Tower after I showed it to her. To be fair, I hadn’t played it until recently and I kept stealing their phones away for that and Jetpack Joyride. I guess the majority of my family has already geeked out about mobile and motion gaming.

Josh (Joshleedotcom)
You know what’s really god damned awkward? When someone else, like one of the kids, opens a video game as a gift (not gifted by me), and everyone else in the room just unconsciously looks at me. OH IT’S A VIDEO GAME JOSH LIKES VIDEO GAMES WHATS A VIDEO GAME?!.

“Hey there’s some shoes! You like shoes! When I saw them I immediately thought of you!” If I did that to all the women I would be labeled a douche.

Just because I play games doesn’t mean I’m going to start salivating and going all “NINTENDO SIXTY FOUR” every time one appears in front of me.

You know what? You’re right! I get that quite a bit. Any time there’s a question on how to set console’s settings, play a game, or even what a single game is about I’m expected to know. I WRITE FOR A GODDAMN WEBSITE! I DON’T RUN ONE! I promptly give them Justin’s business card. Crisis averted.

Justin G
Note to self: steal some of Justin L’s business cards to avert potentially embarrassing / tech support situations, edit cards to say “HE RUNS A GODDAMN WEBSITE!”

Justin L
Sidenote: is not available for purchase.

Related to Josh’s comment: Just because you got a new phone with games on it, does not mean I have played all of the games in the Top Apps list nor does that new phone mean that I suddenly want to be “with Friends” with you even if we are family.


We're not friends.

Justin G
This isn’t really “embarrassing,” but the assumption that because I like video games and can set up a console/tv/receiver and/or put a computer together does not mean that I am family tech support. (It does get embarrassing when I say that I can fix something/set it up and end up as stumped as the luddite family member). Do you think we can have a QR code for this printed on all of our cards?

I second this motion.

Hahaha… I love that… thank you

I did get to hand off the game assistance responsibilites once. A nephew was trying out his new copy of Rayman Origins and needed help. I got to say “I have no idea. Go ask Kyley, she’s played the game.”


JP (JPizzle151)
I really don’t have many awkward conversations about games any more. A lot of people tend to tune me out. I did tell my wife that Skyrim is the greatest game ever because you can pick flowers and fish. I even went as far to tell her that your character could be a total vegan (now there is a run someone should do). I only get requests these days from my 4 year-old nephew to beat various levels in Super Mario World.

Super Mario World

My hero.

That is one benefit that I just came to realize. You really do become the cool family member to all your younger relatives just because you play games.

That only works if they are under 10.

After that, they only want to talk about Call of Duty. Your knowledge of any other game is considered lame, as it does nothing to help them become more “beast”.

That’s true. You especially want to avoid talking about Viva Pinata once they reach that point.

Justin G
If any of my younger game-playing relatives start turning into dude-bro CoD junkies, I will go for a friendly visit and introduce them to my close, personal friends, Misters Negative Reinforcement and his partner-in-crime, Mister Cattle Prod. Fortunately, none of them seem to be so inclined and were pretty happy with their respective gifts of Skyrim and Skyward Sword. Wait. That was actually an awkward video game conversation, when I found out that Skyward Sword requires a Wii Motion + controller and my young cousin didn’t have one. I mean, I’m supposed to be the expert here and…ooops.

Viva Pinata is an awkward conversation unless you’re talking about an actual pinata.

Justin – for shame. Let’s be clear about CoD – we’re talking about the “douche-level” CoD junkies and not the incredibly handsome level that I’m on right? There I go again…

Call of Duty

Which stereotype will you choose?

Justin G
In my defense, it was a Wii game. Like I should know. And I can’t speak for anyone else, but I was referring to the “CoD is the only game I play, bro! ‘Cause it’s so awesome, man! Let’s go shoot some [insert really vulgar epithet here]” crowd. I think Josh Lee was talking about you, though.

Brandon, as long as you’re not this guy, I think you’re safe.

That made my day. No I’m not that guy. I just muffle my screams into a pillow.

Cole (Colefacekilla)
I have this cousin who plays a lot of games and lately our only conversations have been about games that he’s played and beaten. In fact I rarely get a word in about any of the games he’s talking about because he’s doing all the talking. And then sometimes when I’m talking with my Uncle (his dad) about something completely unrelated he says something about a game that a normal person would have no idea what he’s talking about, yet I do. Even though it was completely unrelated to the conversation his dad and I were having. Sometimes I answer him knowingly, sometimes I feign ignorance. He’s not a dude-bro but sometimes a conversation about something other than video games would be nice. Except all the conversations wind up being about how awesome he is at something or other.

Justin G
Maybe you should see if he wants to play some basketball. Outside. Or perhaps read a book, maybe on social interaction?

Dude, bro… does he follow Horrible Night?

I did none of those things you suggest Gifford when I was a kid, and I turned out just fine.


Viva Pinata

It's cool, bro.

Justin L
Can we go back to talking about Viva Pinata? That would make me more comfortable.

I wonder if there’s any dude bro Viva Pinata players out there? If so, we need to interview him/her. Live.

Why should we go back to talking about something that is comfortable? Isn’t this whole thread about awkward and uncomfortable conversations?

Justin L
If we were helping to raise all of these kids right there would be. I’d actually push them to all be hardcore competitive about Banjo-Kazooie Nuts & Bolts.

Dude, bro.. this fuckin gay ass Ruffian was tryin to get up on my Juicygoose, so I put a shovel to his skull. Fag.

Justin L
DudeBro conversations aren’t awkward they are tired. Pretending Rare games are still good, that’s awkward.

Also. Rob wins.

What’s most awkward and uncomfortable is JP just made a valid point about this thread.

For the record, my cousin doesn’t read the site as to my knowledge. If he does it might help him out to read this. Also, that will help out in the awkwardness next time I see him.

Justin G
Way to go with the passive/aggressive route to confronting your cousin, Cole. “Hey, I see that you have issues interacting in a normal way with your elders. Here is a suggestion: have a conversation with your buddies via e-mail and then post it on a popular website for the world to see and then recommend, to the person you would otherwise have to have a sit-down with, that they go read the article. Works for me!”

He’s been confronted many times and not just by me. Maybe strangers weighing in will help. Probably not.

Now THIS is getting awkward!!

Justin G
Wait – why? Did you take your pants off again?

Community Responses

@IncreaseBlue – Friend1:”I’m getting ready to get married.” Friend 2:”He’s a lesbian.” Me: “What?” Thanks for the awkwardness Skyrim.


Our enthusiasm for our favorite pastime makes us heroes to some and misunderstood to others. Regardless, when gaming comes up in conversations around us we are paying attention even if we aren’t sure how excited we should act in that moment.

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