In What Are You Playing This Weekend? we discuss gaming and such with prominent figures in the pop-culture arena. We always start with the same question.
RJ Mitte plays the fast-car-driving, breakfast-loving Walter Jr. (sometimes known as “Flynn”) on Breaking Bad. It was the first ever role for the newly minted actor, who suffers from a milder version of cerebral palsy than his character. When he started, Mitte was 13 and playing a 15-year-old; now he just turned 20, though in Breaking Bad time, it’s only been a year. The Breaking Bad mid-season finale airs this Sunday on AMC.
The Gameological Society: What are you playing this weekend?
RJ Mitte: I just moved into my new apartment, and just set up my gaming stuff. I’m still on some old games, but some good ones. Call of Duty: Black Ops I’m still playing like crazy. I just started playing Resistance: Fall Of Man [and] Rise of Man. I discovered how bad I am at that one because it’s PlayStation, and all I’ve been doing is playing Xbox. It’s a little hard to switch them up.
Gameological: Yeah, it’s tough to go back and forth.
Mitte: It’s crazy. I’ve been playing Xbox for the last two years, and I just got my PlayStation 3 out of storage, and I’m like, “Wait, what are the arrow buttons? Wait, what’s X? How does this work?”
Gameological: So you’re playing three games at once? How long do you play each game for?
Mitte: Most of the war games I play, I’ve discovered you can beat almost any of them in six hours. I try to run through the first time as fast as I can, and then after that I try to find all the Easter eggs. I’ve discovered that if you do that really quick, you can figure out where all the bad guys come from, so if you do that over and over again, you can start shooting in that direction, before they have enough time to generate. In my game case, I have about 40 games; I’ve probably beaten more than half of them in six to 12 hours.
Gameological: What is it about war games you like so much?
Mitte: My grandfather was a Marine, and a lot of my family was military. I always wanted to follow in those footsteps. This is definitely a way to become close to my grandfather and honor my family. I’m just really good at war games. You play what you know. [Laughs.]
Gameological: Do you ever play with your grandfather or anyone in your family?
Mitte: Yeah, my little sister is a pretty decent gamer for eight years old. But the only problem is The Sims has got her at the moment. It’s hooked her.
Gameological: Do you play anything else that’s not a video game? Are you big into card games?
Mitte: I play Texas Hold ’em, Egyptian Rat Trap. I grew up going with my uncles out to fishing camp, and playing card games with them. I grew up in a Cajun area, with a bunch of Southern people playing poker and stuff like that. I love card games. I’ve gotten really good in the last little bit. I’ve found a secret: You get everyone really drunk, and you stay sober, and you can win! It’s not that hard!
Gameological: Is there something particularly Southern the way they play, culturally?
Mitte: There is. You develop habits when you play. I think anything social is very good for anyone, because there are so many things that are anti-social at the moment. People don’t realize how big it is in their lives to have another person around them to be playing with them. When I was a kid, I thought it was the coolest thing to be able to play with my uncles at playing poker. I may not have known how to play, but I felt like I did, just having the cards.
Gameological: You mentioned at one point that your aspirations were once to be on a fishing boat or to join the military. Now I understand where that comes from.
Mitte: Yeah. My grandfather was in World War II, and I still have a lot of the old bayonets, the grenades, some old rifles. I think the art of war is very fascinating.
And now, we put the question to you. Tell us what you’ve been playing lately, and which games—video or otherwise—are on your playlist for the weekend.
(RJ Mitte photo: Ursula Coyote/AMC)