Sunday, December 09, 2007

Games people play: an interview with Free Cell player, Sarah Louise

Sarah Louise: Yahoo! Free Cell is one of my favorite games.

Pink Sneakers n'at: Why is that, Sarah Louise?

SL: Well, I'll tell you. I run the game. The computer deals the cards, and I have to go by the rules the computer has determined. The computer won't let me cheat. But other than that, I can replay a game as many times as it takes to win. Sort of like Run Lola Run. Hmmm, there's a movie to put on hold at the library...

PS: Run Lola Run? Isn't that a German film?

SL: It is. I love watching foreign films, especially if I sort of know the language, so that I don't have to completely rely on subtitles. The actress in RLR is the romantic interest in the first Jason Bourne movie. Another movie to put on hold...

PS: Let's talk about games...

SL: Sorry, my mind wandered a bit there. So, yes, why I love Free Cell. I can move the red eight to the black nine and then move it to the other black nine. Since I play for me, for the win, I don't care how many times I move the cards around. Some computer clock keeps time, and maybe counts my moves. But I don't care. I just keep moving the cards around until they make sense. I once watched my brother play Free Cell, and he was paralyzed by making the right next move. When I play Free Cell, there is no right next move, just a next move. If I can't make a next move, I hit replay or new game. Sometimes I will play a game eight times before I win. Sometimes I will play a game three times before I give up.

PS: Have you ever had a problem with stopping?

SL: I think I know what your question is. When I was in grad school, I literally was addicted to Free Cell. It was the first thing I did when I got home, the last thing before I went to bed. I actually deleted the games application from my computer. I had a similar experience with Bookworm, which I downloaded to my computer. But now I see Free Cell as a diversion. It took me a while to figure out that the Yahoo! version was the one I liked most. I've tried others and Yahoo! is the best fit for my online game needs.

PS: do you ever think about crossword puzzles?

SL: You ask questions in the most bizarre fashion, as if you could read my thoughts. Yes. I think about crossword puzzles. I miss doing them. Very much. But I'm not in a place right now where I want to pay for a daily newspaper subscription. And I can't imagine doing crosswords online. I suppose if someone wanted to give me something for Christmas (hmm, my brother in Austin still hasn't gotten a list from me) they could get me a Mondays book.

PS: A Monday's book?

SL: Crossword puzzles are harder as you get later into the week. So Mondays are easiest. Sundays are hardest. A real crossword afficionado can do the New York Times Sunday Crossword Puzzle in pen. I'm still at the pencil on Mondays stage in the Washington Post. Can I go off topic for a minute?

PS: It's your post, baby.

SL: You know what I really want for Christmas? I want to find the purple watch Sally gave me and have the battery fixed. It's a little luxury that I wouldn't do for myself if I had someone else that was around. But how do you put something like that on a list, when my parents want to give me things like chicks for women in Indonesia (which I love getting every year). My mom bought me something pink yesterday. I hope it's new slippers.

You know what else I want for Christmas? There are a few relationships that I would like back, but to get them back, there would be a lot of work. I would like them back, without the work.
Some of them are relationships that fell away without my noticing, really. I have no idea even how to work towards getting them back. Some of them are relationships that ended with horrible emails. I don't want to write emails to repave the road back to relationship. Some of them are relationships that ended with an awkward hug, when all the other hugs had always been wonderful.

PS: Are relationships like games, do you think?

SL: Well, they do have rules, and they are fun, but the winning part is different--a relationship "win" isn't a personal thing, it's communal. Are we done?

PS: Thank you for coming in, Sarah Louise. All the best.

SL: You're welcome. I'm going to sit here and watch Jerry Maguire, one of my favorite movies about games.


Amy A. said...

Excellent interview. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Helen said...

That reminds me... I need to go play a game of free cell.

Iamthebookworm said...

Great interview!

KitchenKiki said...

I hate when I get addicted to games. Right now I'm addicted to this little guy that shoots out bubbles. I'm stuck on a level & can't get past it.

I had to make myself close that window earlier so I would do other things. Like balance my check book & renew my dvd from the library.