Love in the Time of Coronavirus

  1. Don’t sleep with them before 3rd date / They are not compatible with me. Under these circumstances, you eventually break up. Why? Because they’re not right for you. Being cautious isn’t a bad thing, and I’m not saying it is; but it didn’t really gain you anything, did it? I mean, the thing about compatibility mismatches is that they’re too complex for mere sex to smooth over.
  2. Sleep with them before 3rd date / They are not compatible with me. Under these circumstances, you… Eventually break up. Why? Because they’re not right for you. I mean, we’re in the same boat, is the thing.
  3. Don’t sleep with them before 3rd date / They ARE compatible with me. Well, who knows. Depends on how long you hold onto your modesty…
  4. Sleep with them on the first date / They are compatible with me. This is, I think, the outcome everyone is most scared of. “Could I, possibly, ruin a relationship by being this aggressive? Could I turn Outcome #4 into Outcome #2?” I don’t know. Why don’t you ask my wife… a woman who slept with me on the first date. I wasn’t prepared for it, and — if I’m perfectly honest — it wouldn’t have bothered me if she had taken longer to take things to that level. (I think she feels the same way.) But it was a good sign, in context. What she told me, with her actions, was: “I’m into you. I like what I see so far, and I want to see what happens next. And I want to show that to you, as — forgive the pun — explicitly as possible.” Well, what happened next was we fell in love and got married three years later. If she was attempting to ruin our relationship, I don’t think she succeeded.
  • Do you have any idea how many card games can be played from your phone? My wife had to make an excuse to her other grandma, who kept inviting her to play rounds of a licensed rummy variant called Phase 10. And of course we scarcely need mention all the poker, chess and checkers apps.
  • If you’re looking for something a little more traditionally tabletop-y, there are licensed app versions of games like Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Splendor and — my personal recommendation — Magic: the Gathering. (Magic is the greatest game of all time. Fight me. If you dare. I’m playing Green, so my creatures are bigger than yours.)
  • Let’s also talk the Jackbox Games. Designed by the company behind the irreverent trivia game You Don’t Know Jack, these games are designed to be hosted by one person (typically on a computer or a console), but played on phones, typically by logging in on They are designed with the express purpose of being played via some sort of video-streaming service (, Zoom, etc) and can support up to 8 players plus a bunch of “spectators” who can contribute in other ways. (My personal favorite title is Earwax, which is basically Apples to Apples but with sound effects.)
  • If all you have is an old computer, you’ve still got options. Both Heroes of the Storm and its more popular (if less accessible) sibling League of Legends are 10 years old and don’t need much in the way of hardware — I mean, I play them on a Surface Pro 4, which isn’t even a computer but rather a tablet/laptop hybrid.
  • If you aren’t interested in player-vs-player competition, and instead want to team up with a friend to beat up some computer-controlled baddies, there’s Spiral Knights, an MMO that controls like 2D Zelda and is so low-requirement that you used to be able to play it in your browser. AirMech, spiritual sequel to the legendary Herzog Zwei, is similarly non-taxing. StarCraft II has gone free-to-play; it’s also 10 years old, and has 2-vs-AI co-operative matches in addition to its killer single-player campaign. And Torchlight II, a Diablo clone from the people who actually made Diablo (back when they were called Blizzard North), allows multiplayer and actually has no PvP component at all.
  • And there’s always the graphics-intensive people-versus-AI stuff. Borderlands 3, the anarchic and irreverent shooter! Warframe, the MMO where you play as a space ninja! Diablo 3, where you get to kill Satan! Left 4 Dead, the zombie apocalypse you play with your friends!



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Perspectives in C

Perspectives in C


We don’t have the right to live in a world that satisfies our moral sensibilities. We DO, however, get to CREATE one. Here’s how we do it.