i started getting back into pokemon tcg recently too. i had jaycee play a couple of games with me just to get a feel for it, and she got right into it. she beat me 3 times in a row, and i just beat her for the first time last night. i suggested she take a few of the cards she didn't like out of her deck and replacing it with some others, and now she sees why i collect it - she was on ebay last night for a couple of hours looking for cards for herself :) i know its not magic or yugioh but its still a damn good card game, and she likes the cute pictures.
for the last week or more i've been thinking about all things related to actionRPG and picked up Zelda: Oracle of Seasons just to have something related in my hands. keeps it fresh in my mind, what i want to do and whatnot. jaycee was watching me play it on the gc and asked if i had Oracle of Ages. we fished it out and she was playing it with me while we were waiting for the laundry. (i think i've got a keeper!)
she knows enough about spriting that she could pick out the number of frames for the sword animation and various other things. she got through the first two dungeons without too much trouble, simple prodding was all it really took when she had trouble. j: "where do i go next! grrr!" m: "what was the last item you found?" j: "bombs... ohhhhhh" that's my girl. she figured out the interface fairly quickly.. i thought she might not have known to use select to switch between inventory screens, but she figured out how to save on her own. she's played enough games that i've been ok to bounce some simple ideas off her to get some (somewhat scattered) feedback.
i've always been sure that the biggest problem i've had was simply that i didn't have anyone to do this with in first person. being able to talk to someone out loud and actually have a full conversation "in real life" has always been really really good for this stuff. my buddy in university wasn't the best to do that with, he was more interested in tabletop rpgs so things always went to that no matter what i presented him with. especially difficult with him was terminology. for instance, if he was referring to a "sprite" onscreen, he'd use the word "icon". it got pretty bad sometimes just trying to figure out what he was actually trying to say.
anyways, now that i've got the new computer, i can't really play with any code until i've got the tools i know how to use. i've had vc c#/c++ express on the compy for a couple of weeks, and i grabbed the newest release of the dx sdk and installed it the night before last. i was planning on learning some basic 3d to go over my head with, and i figured i might as well just stick to what i know and worry about the more complicated stuff when there's a better reason than "but it'd look neat!".. that means i gotta grab alleg and compile it again, and then i think i'll be all set for more crappy 8bit-looking tests :)