A lot of people don’t really know that I love role playing computer games but I do, I really do. It is always interesting to watch people react to this and whatever preconceived judgements that they have of me. I am a woman of many facets people – don’t pigeon hole me! I love them and if I had designated time aside to devote my time to solely playing them, I would. It is just that life gets in the way but and often it is deemed as a waste of time and I suppose it is. It specialise in the art of time suck-age. It is tempting some days to wake up wishing for a bout of glandular fever in order to be forced to stay at home and rest and then have time to play.
I can’t really pinpoint where it all began. I remember my brotherplaying the Atari and California games. I was pretty bad it but also very young! I have never been good with technical skill games.
Quite possibly one of the best memories of my childhood was playing Hero’s Quest – Quest for Glory. This game was incredible! My cousin and I would position ourselves for hours under the stairs. We would stock up on cheesy chips and lollies and sit together and try to work it out together. I think this early exposure really imprinted the love in my mind. So if I was looking for someone to blame or praise for the introduction to the world of video games it would be my Uncle. I much prefer this type of game. You assumed the role of the character. You had quests and battles and things to overcome (not unlike real life really!) You are in control of the characters decision making and action taken. The interactive element was good and we compromised and made joint decisions about our Hero’s path.
Then we progressed into the realms of the sega megadrive. I must say I have some fond memories of playing sonic the hedgehog. I think my RSI started at an early age. I was so into sport, extremely sporty and at a competitive level,and then there were parts of me that just wanted to disengage and think about faraway lands and a little blue hedgehog (? Not sure what that was about but sonic was BIG TIME) Maybe it was the enticing music. My favourite levels had the best music as a main component as to why it was my favourite. Like Labyrinth zone – it made me feel like I was in the tropics
The downside with Sonic was that once you finished and completed all the levels – that’s it Nothing new to experience. I guess that is so often the case in life you really want something then you get it and you then leap to the next high, or the next thing to achieve, want, obtain. Not healthy but it is what it is.
Then let’s jump to my late high schoolyears/university days where time was more available. We welcome Baldur’s gate into the sphere of my gaming world – bit of a game changer for me and cemented my love for the RPG.
To this day, I haven’t finished Baldurs Gate 1 or 2. I started to question my ability to be a strategic player. I AM NOT good at battle tactics and positioning, group formations, what weapons to use and when . Just like logic and strategy eluded me throughout school and highlighted by maths and science subjects, so did this concept. It is during this time I realised I just preferred the interactions with other characters, the magical aspects and the self discovery of the character but inevitably fighting and enemies always ensue. I have to adjust most games to easy mode – I don’t like violence what can I say. HOWEVER I always choose being a warrior and I can dual wield weapons like nobody’s business. I guess you have to have goals in the RPG world just as much as you do in real life!
Let’s skip dragon age because I love it but I want to talk about the beauty that is Skyrim. My word. This game is the ultimate. I have one other female friend who loves this game as much as I do. Skyrim is phenomenal. Words will fail to do it justice so here is the trailer. The most amazing work from Bethesda Studios ( I wonder if many females work there or at any computer places?!?!) The creativity and skill that comes out of these companies is epic. It has evolved into trailers even being portrayed
If I was honest – I like roaming the vast land and listening to the incredible soundtrack. I find it rather calming. Sure I could go outside for a walk but this is just something else. My friend actually has the Skyrim soundtrack on her iphone/ipod. I mean really who doesn’t wish they could wander around the forests, snow, ancient runes and play with magic?
Sometimes I will avoid all quests or game play and just roam and explore just to get my favourite parts of the atmospheric music on. I spend at least an hour creating my character. It is so detailed. There some instant gratification in being able to make yourself(character) super tanned ,lean and have really high cheekbones. I can adjust my nose, my eyes, my eye colour, have an amazing ‘out there’ hair style. In fact I am a lot more attractive and interesting through the portrayal of my Skyrim character.
I am also starting resent the fact that there is no equivalent of the arcane arts in our current world. I suppose with my recent “spiritual” investigation and growth it could be loosely linked in. Imagine mastering skills of the elements, healing and clairvoyance. Perhaps that’s why I am drawn to that part of the game – it’s always been in me. Part of me also romanticises the idea of living in the snow, in a castle, somewhere with profound history and stories embodied and playing with all things magical! The problem with these games is that the addictive nature starts to emerge. You start losing track of time, you forget to eat or you can’t remember how many bags of chips you’ve consumed, you have learnt to deal with your RSI, you start saying things like “I’ll just finish this side quest” and the next thing you know it’s dark and hours have passed. You can’t sit down and just do a quick hour it just doesn’t work like this.
With the release of the Elder Scrolls I feel like I need to take a massive chunk of sick leave to give it the time it deserves. All I know is that if I start it up I will fall into the black hole of addictive RPG playing and I don’t have enough leave (sick or holiday) to dedicate myself wholly to this experience. I live you with this theatrical trailer of awesomeness…