Rory wished she could be surprised when, descending the stairs at ten in the morning, she saw the glow of the TV still lighting up the common room.
“Did you play all night?” she asked sleepily.
“Don’t talk to me,” Paris hissed, hunched over the controller. “This is my Grandmaster game.”
“I thought you hit Grandmaster yesterday.”
“I did. Then Jeff Kaplan’s brilliant matchmaking system decided to pair me with an endless parade of what I can only assume were monkeys who, after escaping the zoo, stumbled across an abandoned PS4. So we’re back in Master.”
“Paris,” Rory said, resisting the urge to head right back up to bed. “We got into this game to bond with Tim, remember? This is his thing.”
“So?” Paris said while annihilating a Mercy.
“So maybe you should take a break and let your son play again.”
As Round 1 finished, Paris finally looked at Rory. “Before I started playing, Tim was in Silver. Silver, Rory. That’s like the Overwatch equivalent of a D.”
“And he mained Hanzo! He had nearly a hundred hours on the guy! His team would be better off if he just threw his controller out the window!”
“Oh my god, it’s just a video game,” Rory burst out, and Paris’s face went full ice-mode.
“‘Just a video game?’” she repeated. “Was it ‘just a video game’ when it recouped before its initial release even happened? Or when its most-marketable character was confirmed as gay to a playerbase of millions? Was it ‘just a video game’ then?”
“You have no idea what you’re talking about,” Paris huffed, putting another one of Mei’s icicles right between that poor Mercy’s eyes. “This game is revolutionizing what multiplayer first-person shooters could mean for the larger cultural— god damn it.” The enemy Lucio had booped her off the map. Paris stormed out of the room, muttering, “That’s the third time this game. Screw this overhyped, half-baked…”
Rory timidly picked up the controller. The last time she’d played, she had fallen off the map at least three times. Jumping into Grandmaster was sure to be interesting.