When You Know It’s Right

Image by Axel Pfaender: http://www.flickr.com/photos/axor/5775058735/sizes/o/in/photostream/
Image by Axel Pfaender (source)

I’ve been playing Dragon Age II (very slowly) for a couple weeks now and I think, finally, we’ve clicked. How do I know? Because the gameplay and my characters from the game pop into my thoughts when I’m not playing. And when that happens, distracting as it may be, I starting thinking about where I’m going to go and what I’m going to do next in the game.

And then I start thinking about just playing the game – being in my house, controller in hand, calm and comfortable, ready to explore the unknown. [happy sigh]

How do you know when you’ve hit your stride with a game? Is it love at first play or does it take awhile to build up a relationship?

With me, the answer has changed over the years. In the beginning, I didn’t think much about forming relationships with games – I played one game and then I played the next. I didn’t latch onto my ship in Defender any more that I hoped to see Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man live happily ever after. I liked Mario and Donkey Kong well enough, but I only wanted to participate in their antics on my time. It really wasn’t until DOOM and Super Metroid that I discovered just how captivating video games could be.  DOOM’s visceral, almost primitive nature – kill or be killed – was unlike anything I’d experienced before in games. It was so “in the moment,” and I wanted to be in those moments for hours on end. Super Metroid was simply addicting in its gameplay and secrets. And both games managed to seep into my brain, leading to plenty of thoughts of demons and caverns during my non-gaming hours.

This attachment to a game didn’t really occur again for me until Mass Effect. And I think I was meant to play ME because the relationship I have developed with it is like no other. I didn’t go into the original Mass Effect with any grandiose plans to become so attached. It just…happened. Part of it was certainly the storytelling and Bioware’s way with games. Mass Effect provided me with a significant gaming outlet; and when I started thinking about the game at work, on the bus, in the grocery store…I knew we had really hit it off. When I started writing down strategies, keeping track of characters, keeping track of planetary visits, well…maybe I had jumped a bit too far into the deep end. But I managed to control myself by the time I got to ME2 and ME3.

But Mass Effect also irrevocably altered that previous, albeit quiet relationship I had built up with games. Whereas with early arcade and console games, one plugged or dropped a quarter in a game and played without much hesitation, today’s games require much more planning. And after ME, seemingly “lesser” games just weren’t that appealing (no matter how flawed my logic concerning them was). There’s a lot of talk about quality vs. quantity in today’s games. Is less more or is more less?  The strange reality in my world is that when I hear of a game with a 10-hour single-player campaign, I think, “man, that’s short. Who wants to invest $60 in that?” In fact, given the constraints on my time these days, I should welcome games that seem so limited. Instead, I’m continually drawn to wonderful 80-hour RPG time-sucks like ME that I know perfectly well will take me months to get through.

What’s worse is that I now have an innate need to know that I’m going to get along with a game before I play it. I’m trying very hard to break that, to find games that fall outside my comfort zone. Yet here I am, barely a dozen hours into Dragon Age II, finally enjoying it, and knowing it’ll be good while before I relinquish my 360 to another game.

It’s a strange conundrum, evolving with the times and such. It actually helps me better understand why lots of old-school players prefer to stick with old-school games. Having straddled both worlds, it makes me wonder what it’s like being an up-and-coming gamer these days. I can’t quite picture what my gaming life would be like if I had started my foray with Mass Effect. If you’re a gamer of the new millennium, or one who followed a similar path to mine, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

For now, I gotta keep thinking about Dragon Age II. I’d really hate for the momentum that took me several hours to build to come crashing down now.

79 Comments Add yours

  1. These days, such relationships begin prior to even playing. You hear the buzz surrounding the game, what the developer plans to do differently, and how they hope to create a game that will latch onto your subconscious. On the basis of everything you hear and read, you decide if it is worth taking the plunge. A trusted franchise you will go to more willingly, while you are tentative approaching a new series unless it has an undeniable hook.
    The most recent instance I had was with ‘The Last Story’. Everything I read about sounded awesome. It was a lighter version of the Final Fantasy-style games, in order to not scare off people such as I who were unaccustomed to them. The world was well-realised, the characters endearing, and the gameplay enticing. I bought the deluxe copy of the game, complete with awesome artbook and a CD of the in-game music.
    Twice I have tried to play the game for an extended period, but something real-world comes up and it inevitably loses its hold on me. The same thing happened with Monster Hunter Tri, and that it has happened twice stops me finding a copy of the universally acclaimed Xenoblade Chronicles.
    It’s not like the younger years of gaming, where the time away from a game was filled with thoughts of what next in the game. With ‘Ocarina of Time’, it took me almost three months to complete. As the credits finished, the first thought was …AGAIN! It was the same with ‘Majora’s Mask’.
    You hit your stride with a game when it dominates your thoughts regardless of what you’re doing. You are initially enamoured with the game or its buzz, and your play time proves if the relationship was gamer-lust or the start of an enduring, intoxicating journey.

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    1. cary says:

      You make some wonderful points here. Some games just beg for repeat plays, and not in the current Bioware/RPG sense of “I must see all the outcomes,” but rather in the “that was SO much fun I must play it again!” sense.

      P.S. I gave Xenoblade Chronicles a good try as a rental before sending it back after hearing that it was a good 70+ hours of game. Like you and “The Last Story” (which I hope you complete someday!), I was so lost every time I came back to the game because I didn’t have three free days to play to straight through.

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  2. First I want to say that I really enjoyed reading this entry. I haven’t really had a peak into the mind of another gamer seeking out that ‘latch effect’ for a game. No one really bothers to search themselves on a deeper level regarding their game lust. Most gamers I know just say, “I didn’t really get into it.” or.. “It wasn’t my kind of game.” IMO, ask yourself “Why?” to these statements and you’ll most likely save yourself a pretty penny at the game store.

    Being a female gamer, this sort of thing happens all the time. I’m analyzing my thoughts and wants regarding games and such, trying to figure out where the next ‘latch’ is. It’s crazy really. Once you’ve had a game that envelops you and doesn’t let go until the end, you’re on this endless empty road to finding the next one.

    On a personal level, I’ve had to turn my gamer-eye to past video games due to finances. I haven’t been able to purchase a PS3 or XBox360! Sure, there have been a few times where I could’ve made it happen with the compromise of PB&J’s for a while, but I’m honestly glad I haven’t. There were many times in Game Stop where I was just disappointed in the games available. Don’t get me wrong, there a few that I’ve always wanted to play all the way through. I.E.: Assassin’s Creed, Little Big Planet, Zelda. I’ve had tastes of these from friends and liked them, but my problem lies in genre. A.C. and L.B.P. sate my thirst for adventure type games, but I haven’t been too impressed with Next Gen RPG’s. That is where my heart lies.

    I could go on and on, but I won’t. Let’s just say that I am glad that I’ve waited on buying a PS3/XBox360. They were too expensive and lacking in the games I wanted to play at the time. Therefore, not worth my hard earned dollar (yet). How I’ve longed for these new consoles to come out! Not to buy one. (Gasp!) But so that the prices on the current consoles would drop. That works out for me just fine.

    Until then, I will continue to enjoy my playback PS2, Nintendo, Gameboy Advance, and PC games. 😉

    – Britney

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    1. Hatm0nster says:

      I feel similarly once I’ve completed a game that pretty much enthralls me for its duration. Once I reach the end, I get all melancholy and think “Well, now what?”. The best thing about a game that does that is that repeat playthroughs are a genuine treat rather than just something to do like in many other games. It never quite has the same magic as before but it becomes enjoyable for new reasons, like finding new things or learning even more about a character you didn’t pay much attention to at first.

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      1. Repeat play throughs are the best. 😀

        – Britney

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    2. cary says:

      Right before Dragon Age II I played and completed Read Dead Redemption. That game was so splendid and all-consuming that I wondered what in the world would top it. I tried my hand at Epic Mickey II and it just didn’t cut it. So back to the RPGs I went. You’re right about that “empty feeling” that comes with finishing a really great game. It’s hard to overcome sometimes.

      Like you, I’m also looking to the past in games! I’m not all that excited about the next gen, so I’m hoping to get through some of my backlog, and I’m even buying a couple Gamecube games to give our Wii something to do! You sound very happy with your current gaming state, and that’s awesome! As long as you’re having fun, who cares which consoles you use? Just. Keep. Playing. 🙂

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      1. I’ve honestly had more fun backtracking through the awesome-ness of past video games than I have wading through the next gen games for a good one. Just saying. And I completely agree. Just. Keep. Playing. It really doesn’t matter.

        On a bit of a different note, I’m really just waiting for FFXIV:A Realm Reborn to release this August. Then if y’all don’t hear from me for a while, please check that I’m still alive. Haha.

        – Britney

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  3. simpleek says:

    I’ve been saying it more than once before when I talk about what started me on the path of being a gamer…Dragon Age: Origins then Mass Effect!

    The fact that these games take so much time out of your life, but are so damn good, you don’t care how long it will take to finally finish a game. You just want to enjoy the story and characters.

    I can relate to your feelings well. I remember obsessing over the characters, romance and story when I’m not at home playing. All I can think about is, “How long will it be before Alistair is mine?” “What happened to Garrus during the time my Shep was dead/absent?” It was hard not to think of any of these games 24/7 until you finally reach the end.

    I think it comes down to good storytelling and characters. I know when I’ve read really good books, I can hardly stop thinking about the characters after I’ve reached the end. Half of me doesn’t want to say goodbye and the other half wants to go down that journey with them again because it has been fun. You know something is good when you feel way more attached to fictional characters than you should be. 😀

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    1. cary says:

      That’s so true! I mean how many literature classes talk about fictional characters from books like they were real? How many actors are currently acting out non-existent Shakespeare characters? How many people want to “hang out” with their favorite characters from TV and movies? Okay, maybe the line between normal and crazy here is a little thin, but video game characters (when they are done well) certainly fall within these same realms. And when we bring them to life, when they affect us the same way as those “people” from books, TV, and movies, we – gamers – know that something is right. (Now if only the rest of the world could see it that way!)

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  4. duckofindeed says:

    I prefer longer games, too. I get more attached to them. I spend all this time with the characters and exploring these locations, it’s hard to leave it when you’re done. And I was so sad about the endings in such games as “FFX” and “Okami” and “Illusion of Gaia”. I spent so many hours with these characters, and then… Oh, the bawling I did.

    Anyway, some games I get over pretty fast, but other games, I’m still thinking about them even after I finished them and went on to the next. When I get near the end, I put off finishing it because I know I’ll miss it so. I usually play about an hour or two a day, but with “Skyward Sword” and “FFVII”, it was hard to resist playing more. I eventually gave in and played “FFVII” twice as much as usual everyday. And I got so curious about the story in “Super Paper Mario”, I was playing a ridiculous amount of hours a day because I had to know what would happen. And I couldn’t sleep at night, I’d think about it so much. That was overboard, though.

    But, I get so much more attached to games than movies. You see people 2-3 hours in a movie, but in a game, you spend 30 hours or more in the longer ones. (I spent over 100 hours playing “FFXIII”.) I’ve spent more time in a week with fictional people than certain real people at times.

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    1. cary says:

      I think the fact that we also control these characters, in addition to getting to know them, also has something to do with the attachment. It’s not just that my character, Hawke, from Dragon Age II, has an interesting backstory that I want to understand further, but that I get direct her adventures. She’s the one I’m getting to know, but I’m at the helm. Having that kind of control — something we, people generally, don’t really get to do in real life — is straight-up addicting! And I know we all get a little punchy if we’re without our games for awhile!

      Right now, my gaming time is at a meager 2-3 hours a week. So maybe that’s why I crave knowing if I’m going to like a game or not before I start playing it. In the past, when I was playing 1-2 hours a day, it was a lot easier to get caught up in games, and I wish I could quite shake the past despite the present.

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  5. Hatm0nster says:

    Finding and playing those games that really click with you is what makes being a gamer worth while. The experiences we have with them may only be virtual, but they’re ones that you wouldn’t give up for anything.
    Stuff like wandering through Phendrana Drifts in Metroid Prime, navigating Stone Tower Temple in Majora’s Mask (the best zelda temple of any game btw), and fighting though Virmire in Mass Effect (as well as the entirety of that game and ME2) are all things that I can’t imagine having gone without.

    Games aren’t influential to the point of being life/character changing, but man can they leave an impact, more so than any book or movie.
    Attachment can definitely get out of hand (I figured that out when I saw the original ME2 teaser and being…upset that Shepard had died), but such things pass eventually.

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    1. cary says:

      You’re right. We do move on to other games, other characters surely; it’s the necessary life cycle of game and those that play them. I have a terrible memory when it comes to most entertainment. Heck, I just saw Iron Man 3 and I don’t remember much past Robert Downey Jr. But with games, I can still remember playing Ms, Pac-Man in the arcades and some of the crazy twists in GTA IV and that moment I knew which of my Shepards was my personal favorite. Video games, even those that don’t so much involve the players, have a other-worldly quality to them that’s like no other form of entertainment. I, for one, can’t imagine a life without them.

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  6. gimmgp says:

    Lots of great discussion here. Recently, I pulled out my ever-updating list of “Top 100 Games I Have Played” and starting to run some numbers on the genres and series within the hallowed spreadsheet. Like so many of you, RPGs and Adventure games dominated the charts and many of these games were from previous console generations.

    When I was back in middle and high school, I played nearly everything and genuinely enjoyed most of what I played. These were the days of borrowing piles of games from friend and popping down to the local Blockbuster for a rental or two. Very few games felt like a waste of my time because they were relatively cheap and I had plenty of free time. Now that I am an adult, things have changed drastically. Rental shops don’t exist, and neither does an abundance of free time. So when I sit down to play a game, if I am not snagged within the first 30 minutes, it is unlikely that I will actually finish the game.

    There are some cases where I want to see how a story plays out, even if I do not really enjoy a game. So I will power through a game, half paying attention, with a stressful feeling of completing a chore list in order to move on to another game. This is a bad habit that I have noticed recently, and I am making strides to just accept that not all games I play were meant to be finished.

    But there are still those titles that totally enthrall me; the games that take over my every thought, conversation, and spare moment of time. Fallout 3 was one of these titles. When I started the game, I had just moved near to the DC area, so as I explored my new home, I was also exploring the Capital Wastes. Everything clicked and even when I was sightseeing in real life, I was thinking about where to visit next with my virtual counterpart.

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    1. duckofindeed says:

      That’s the same for me. As a kid, I kept every game because I had all the time in the world to play them, even the bad ones. As I get older, I realize that I don’t want to waste my limited time playing a game I don’t enjoy. So I finally decided to start piling up these games with the hopes of selling them somewhere. I have plenty of games I enjoy, so why not just narrow my game library to just those?

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  7. cary says:

    Reblogged this on Recollections of Play and commented:
    Have you been to United We Game lately? If not, you’re missing out on some wonderful articles, including several by our newest contributors. Here’s my most recent UWG post in which I explore the question “when do you know it’s ‘right’ with your games?”

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  8. yanniesaurus says:

    Dragon age 2 is amazing. It clicks and you become obsessed, don’t you? Grats on being freshly pressed kitten. Rouge, Mage or warrior?

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    1. cary says:

      Thank you! I’m playing as a warrior with two-handed weapons. It’s my go-to class/weapon choice when I’m starting out a new game. Unfortunately, I lost my DA:O save in which I played as a rogue, hence starting over.

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      1. yanniesaurus says:

        I lost my save too – I rage quit when there was that massive glitch between Sony and bioware.

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  9. segmation says:

    Love this blog. There are so many new games out there aren’t there. I think what is most important is finding the game that works for you. Whether its Dragon Age or Paint by Numbers, it is all fun and hopefully relaxing.

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    1. cary says:

      Yep, I think we all agree that people should play the games that make them happy, not the ones that are seemingly the most popular or are getting the most press. Play on!

      Like

      1. segmation says:

        Play on and relax and enjoy! http://www.segmation.com

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  10. phillybookpicks says:

    I will have to tell my son about this game. Thanks for informing me !

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    1. cary says:

      You’re welcome, and thanks for reading!

      Like

  11. alexanderschimpf says:

    You described this process of being enraptured by a game so well. That is exactly why I had to quit once I had kids–my sons have enough competition for my time without me also pondering my virtual strategies.

    Congrats on being fp!

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    1. cary says:

      Thanks! And yes, we do have to set priorities in life, and sometimes the games (or other leisure activities) have to take a backseat. It sounds like you have your priorities straight! The games, they’ll always be there, but they can’t beat family!

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  12. For me it varies a lot. With StarCraft it was love at first sight. It took me a few days to work up my enthusiasm for Planescape: Torment. And as for Baldur’s Gate II, I started the game, lost interest, shelved it for a couple of years, and then tried again – and THEN fell in love with it. And then I played and finished the original Baldur’s Gate…

    For me the story element is important. This is why I still occasionally play these games to this day – they all have compelling stories.

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    1. cary says:

      Agreed. I’m going to be going back to Metroid Prime after a failed attempt years ago. I know the story is fantastic and I hope to build up that same enthusiasm I had back then.

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  13. For me, Final Fantasy III on Super Nintendo created my love affair with video games. I was so into the story and cared for the welfare of each character that lived on my airship. But, the ME series takes the cake. I shed so many tears on that series…seeing the different outcomes for each character was rewarding and heart breaking. I’m tearing up just thinking about it. Video games have helped me get through some tough times in my life…a verbally and physically abusive father, leading to my parents divorcing. And I’ve always told every girl I have ever dated, “I play video games…if you don’t understand that I do need to spend time with them, it’s not gonna work.” To me, it’s not just a machine designed to entertain me….it’s a way to deal with stress and escape the past abuses.

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    1. cary says:

      Thanks for reading and sharing your story. Some people like to make fun of the fact that us gamers escape into games because we’re nerdy, socially awkward, don’t like people, etc. But the reality is that there’s so much more to it, as you prove here. I also found solace in games when my parents divorced — in a no-win situation where I had no control, at least I could control my game characters and win at something. Sometimes a game is just a game; but sometimes a game is a place where we find comfort.

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  14. Samantha says:

    I am a gamer, but not really, considering I only play a couple of games, and RPGs are what have done it for me. I play WoW, Diablo III, a little bit of Guild Wars 2 when I get the chance, and I liked Dragon Age. The story for WoW and Diablo is what keeps me coming back though, and how the story affects my personal character. I don’t “roleplay” per se, but coming up with stories for them is fun for me.

    My boyfriend, on the other hand, is totally a gamer, and he wants me to try new games all the time, and I shy away from it because I don’t get into them as easily when I have little time and little patience for other storylines in games. I don’t know why, when I can devour many different books with different storylines. It’s an interesting place, in my head.

    Thanks for this post, I really enjoyed it! Congrats on Freshly Pressed!

    Like

    1. cary says:

      Thank you! It’s good that your husband encourages you to try new games, but we like what we like, right? The only thing that matters is that you play the games that you enjoy. Years ago, my husband tried to get me into first-person shooters, war games specifically. And I just don’t have the stomach for them. I’d much rather jump and collect my way through the Mushroom Kingdom than stress out trying to make my way to a bullet-strewn checkpoint.

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  15. Jennie Saia says:

    I’m got so excited when I saw you write about Dragon Age 2! I am a newbie gamer, brought to the “dark side” by my partner. I almost exclusively enjoy games like DA, Fable, and Knights of the Old Republic which let me dive into worlds that are more focused on fantasy than fighting (at least the way I play them).

    I actually developed a pretty serious crush on Alistair in DA 1, to the point that I had embarrassing dreams about him. I Googled it, and found I wasn’t the only one – not by a long short. I guess what I’m rambling about is how many people deeply connect to games that pull you in in a holistic way – there’s adventure, but also friendship and love and personal growth and humor and, and, and… anyway, thanks for sharing!

    Like

    1. cary says:

      And thank you for reading! Yeah, there really was no denying Alistair’s hotness. I pursued him all the way to the end, but screwed up the relationship with a few poorly make dialogue-tree choices. Ah well. I also find much more fun in fantasy environment (big fan of Fable here, despite its drawbacks) than real world environments (though it’s had to argue with the likes of Uncharted 2 or Arkham City, two of my favs.) But it all comes back round to the story. As long as it hooks me, I’m in, whether I’m controlling a cop in L. A. Noire or a little robot guy named Mega Man!

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  16. Penguin Girl says:

    Oh goodness. This brings me back to the very first time I picked up pokemon. My sister picked out an old, used Yellow game. Due to lack of exposure (e.g. girls that stuck to mostly girly things before, being in the 3rd grade, never hearing about pokemon, etc. etc.) it took us two or three years to discover that you were suppose to go up and out of Pallet Town.
    But after that, it was absolutely amazing. We got so very much into pokemon and it’s been one of those things that become a part of your childhood forever.

    Like

    1. cary says:

      Thanks for sharing! I felt the same after rediscovering Super Mario Brothers a few years after having first played it. I was never good at the game, but I discovered all sorts of things that I had completely missed the first time round, which made the experience totally fun. That’s one of the great things about games – they always offer more surprises the more you play!

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  17. Benny says:

    I just want to share something I think non-gamers just don’t understand.

    The idea of online friends.

    I grew up as one of those kids always on the computer with the headset on chatting on ventrilo arranging matches, raids and having a good time. I was on everyday, whenever I could. They were my friends. We met at certain times, had certain goals and worked as a team. Sadly, I’ve grown apart from that.

    At school, we had roommates that would spend hours upon hours of their day in their room playing video games and “talking to themselves”. The “normal” people would say, “Man, all he does is play video games. He should socialize more, etc, etc.”.

    So I tell my friends, “You don’t understand, he is socializing. He’s communicating. There is so much more going that just ‘playing a video game’. He has friends online, he trusts them, he meets them online to complete goals and strategize.”

    In the end my friends give me a nod and say something like “They’re not real friends”. But that is where they’re wrong. Sure, they might be across the country in a different timezone, but I will never forget the times that I’ve had farming unique items or going 5v1 on de_dust2 with my online friends cheering and screaming into their mics after the clutch victory.

    Sorry for the long comment, but I just wanted to share this message. I love reading this blog and this is the first time I’ve commented. 🙂

    Like

    1. cary says:

      It’s really unfortunate that the “gamer” stereotype lives on even in this day and age when, I think, people interact with others online more than they do in real life. (Or, maybe it just seems that way.) Personally, I’ll admit that I’ve always preferred offline gaming, but the people I’ve met on through blogging and other social media outlets, even though we’ve never and may never meet face-to-face, are just as awesome as my “in person” friends. I think your story rings true with a lot of gamers. Our friends are whoever we accept as such, no matter if they are across the street or in another country.

      And thanks for the nice words about our site. 🙂

      Like

  18. gregschina says:

    Not to sentence you to a summer without leaving your house – but if you’ve not already tried it give Fallout: New Vegas a try. If you have any sort of love for 50’s or 60’s retro style and non-linear game play then it’s a must!

    Like

    1. cary says:

      I’ve heard fantastic things about the Fallout series, but have never played the games. However #3 and New Vegas are definitely on my “to-play” list. Someday!

      Like

  19. I think you can straddle the line. I ate threw Skyrim, Reckoning, and am currently engulfed by Fall Out 3.I became so attached to my character in Skyrim, that when I switched to Reckoing I actually had dreamed up a reality in which it could somehow be the same person. I can totally relate to forming a true relationship with games. However, I light up with excitement at the thought of holding a Nitendo 64 controller and playing Mario Party. The idea of playing Mortal Kombat on the original Playstation again in all its pixilated graphics glory is enough to leave a smile on my face for days.

    It is really hard to think of gamers that are just starting their journeys in this age of Bioshock and Borderlands who may never experience the joy of Twisted Metal or the simplicity of Pong.

    As silly as it is to say about a gaming experience, I think that we are blessed to have experienced that vast array of games that the evolution of technology gifted us with.

    Like

    1. cary says:

      That’s a great way to put it! There’ll always be people who look down upon games (and other forms of “immature” entertainment); but in the end, video games have really been a boon to our society. They connect people, help us grow and learn, and provide safe and immediate outlets. I don’t think it sounds silly at all. It’s wonderful!

      With all the attention on the next generation of consoles, I do see a small trend of gamers wanting to experience the past. I’m even looking to connect and reconnect with games that I previously missed or never completed (hoping to start back with Metroid Prime soon). It’s true that young gamers today will never experience that oddly strange but fantastic feeling that came with Pong, but at least it’s preserved for people to play in some form.

      Like

    2. Hatm0nster says:

      I have similar reactions to my “retro” games too! Today’s stuff is complex, big, and often quite bombastic in plot, visuals, and so on, which is great. However, it’s still a blast to play stuff with simple goals and basic, often quirky, presentation. It may be nostalgia talking, but then at least the games were memorable enough to inspire it.

      Like

  20. likkian says:

    That happened to me with the Pokemon games for YEARS. I totally hear you!

    Emily
    {Photography and Wisdom}

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    1. cary says:

      I think another commenter above will agree with you! 🙂

      Like

  21. Danielle I says:

    Wow. I really thought taking my thoughts on a game to bed is not really normal, yet here I am, finding people getting really attached to games as well.

    I think I only develop game relationships after I play for a time. I first adjust to the world of the game; I think that’s an important factor in creating video games. There has to be a place that I gotta get hooked on to, then I start strategizing in my head, etc.

    There are also rare cases where the game appeals to me very quickly – I become “addicted” to such for a long time. Maybe because they simply make me curious. First impression, I think, is also important in games. It also depends on the audience.

    Like

    1. cary says:

      Yeah, it really varies, as we’ve seen just from the comments here. In the case of current games, I always go in with a little trepidation that I won’t like or be able to get into the game. It’s usually takes me a good hour or two to become convinced. And then once I start dreaming about levels and strategies, I know I’m hooked!

      However, they are plenty of games that become immediately addicting, like you say. Angry Birds comes to my mind. Goodness, I couldn’t stop playing that game once I started! And there was nothing to it but flinging birds at pigs (okay…there was a bit more to it than that…). Who knew that could be so much fun?! 😀

      Like

    2. Hatm0nster says:

      First impressions are definitely the hook for a game, just like any book or movie. If the game doesn’t give a reason to play it right away then how likely are you to keep going?

      This is why games like FFXIII don’t hit well I think. If it takes dozens of hours for the game to open up and get “good” is it really worth playing?

      Like

  22. Congrats on the Freshly Pressed =)

    Like

    1. cary says:

      Thanks. It’s nice to be acknowledged, and the recognition is great for UWG!

      Like

  23. simonemartorelli says:

    Like

    Like

    1. cary says:

      Thank you!

      Like

  24. My husband is really the Gamer in the family but since we got together I’ve been able to expand my own ideas of gaming. I thought puzzle games like Bejeweled were my favorite but I’ve gotta say, playing the new Tomb Raider is what has really opened up my love for “real” gaming. That and Fable 2 and 3… 🙂 Sorry if I’m not speaking the right gaming lingo but I am pretty new to the scene. I just love the gaming community though. I’m in a Facebook group called Gaming Mommies and even my husband is in it now! It’s not just women because a lot of their husbands were jealous of the fun and community it provides. Thanks for letting me ramble at 3:30 in the morning. I think I’m gonna go and get on the Xbox if I can get our baby back to sleep…. 🙂

    Like

    1. cary says:

      Haha, it sounds like you’ve got all the terminology down just fine! (The Fable games are among my personal favs!) And Gaming Mommies? How awesome! This is what makes the gaming community so fantastic. Gamers are not just boys/men living with their parents; they are your mailman, you babysitter, the couple you had drinks with, your co-workers, the single mom picking up her kids from school, and the stranger sitting next to you on the train. Thanks for reading and sharing — I hope your little one eventually got to sleep (and I hope you got some gaming in!) 🙂

      Like

    2. Hatm0nster says:

      Which of the Fable games do you like best? For me it’s Fable 2. I spent so much time trying to find every little secret in that game!

      Like

      1. Yes, Fable 2 was def my favorite, too! I enjoyed 3 but 2 had such a charm about it. I tried to backtrack and play Fable 1 on the pc but could not get into it. Lol.

        Like

      2. cary says:

        Fable 2 was my favorite as well. I enjoyed everything about the game, from the stories and characters to the environments. It one of the few games into which I sunk well over 80 hours.

        Like

      3. Hatm0nster says:

        Which was your favorite quest or weapon? I really liked getting the Daichi (easily the best weapon in the game thanks to the augments) and perfecting combat in the arena to get that…other weapon (cant remember what it was, I think it was some sort of knife) was fun too.

        Like

      4. cary says:

        Honestly, I think my favorite part of the game was wandering around after the main story! I had racked up so many sidequests and it was fun just doing them at leisure. However, if I had to pick a favorite part, it’d be that mission into the caves the first time you met Hannah. She was a bizarrely funny character and I liked hanging out with her.

        Like

  25. cannopener says:

    Yep, Mass Effect ruins you for other games. My husband and I played it through “together” for the first run through (i.e. ME2, then make up a new Shepard and go through ME1, 2 and 3), and now he’s going through it again with a new, male, Shepard. I’m getting annoyed because last time we had a relationship with Garrus and this time he’s with Tali and the male voice actor is just so lame and Tali’s too good for him… so he should date Ashley and leave Tali for Garrus, on whom I have far too much of a real world crush.

    If I had all the money and time in the world to spend on cosplay, me and husband would be fem Shepard (shaved head) and Garrus.

    I still daydream about the ME universe and wonder about stuff as if it were real. Imagine the day when someone tops it… I actually can’t.

    Like

  26. cannopener says:

    When I say we played it “together”, I mean he drove and I told him what to say in the conversations. I can’t even walk down a corridor without banging into the walls while staring at the ceiling.

    And in computer games I’m even worse.

    Like

    1. cary says:

      I’m with you on the immersiveness of the ME universe — it’s simply incredible. I couldn’t not play ME1 for the longest time. My life was work, eat, ME1, and maybe sleep, for a good year at least. Let’s see…in my ME1 playthroughs, I romanced Kaiden, Liara, Ashley, and then Liara (accidentally) a second time. In ME2 and 3 I was all about Garrus. Like so many others, I just connected with him more than any of the other characters. That these games made no apologies for their ability to connect players with their Shepards and the other characters is one of the things that’s make them so awesome!

      It sounds like you guys make a fantastic duo when playing. I get a little antsy when people try to talk me through games. But my husband doesn’t mind it. I’ve sometimes helped guide him through certain RPGs.

      Like

    1. cary says:

      Yep! Thanks for reading!

      Like

      1. dannytolbert says:

        anytime please stop by as well 🙂

        Like

  27. Wairuanor says:

    For some reason, it was easier for me to enjoy a wider variety of games when I was younger (played games on Atari, Amiga, C64 and then the modern PC, PS and PS2). I also read computer magazines (yes, in a time in which they were still the best way to get infos about new games because the internet wasn’t widely/cheaply accessible) to plan my next purchases. I also had a LOT more time. I played the Tomb Raider series (and loved having a strong female as the main character in a male dominated genre), the Settlers, Doom (in a LAN with my older brother who had introduced me to gaming), Resident Evil, Age of Empires, Tetris and many more.

    But as I got older, I had less time and I wanted the time and money I spent on games to be well invested and worth it. For years, the main game I play is “Lord of the Rings online”. I took a break every now and then to try out other online RPGs, I also played Skyrim (and enjoyed it for a while) and eyed one or the other offline RPG after that. But in the end, I always return to LotRo. It’s the game that captivates me, that makes me relax, that makes me have a good time and forget the troubles of the “real” world for a couple of hours.

    But yes, the question is why other games simply to not cut it for me. I played Guild Wars 2 for a while but then didn’t like the lack of proper story telling and good quest lines (Guild Wars 1 was better, I think!). However, why is it so important why we do not like certain games? Aren’t games for enjoying? It’s the same with books: some people like fantasy, some people like crime, others like romance. It’s a matter of taste and the world would be so boring if everyone always liked everything – there’d also be no need for new ideas!

    I, personally, just don’t want to play certain types of games and I don’t have a problem with it. To each her own.

    Like

    1. cary says:

      And that’s the way it should be. Play whatever bring you joy. Games that get lots of attention aren’t necessarily great. And it hardly means that they are gong to be universally liked. Can’t please everyone and all, right? Games are different things to different people; and when we find the right games, the one with which we truly *click,* we can develop relationships with them that rival those with people. It’s a fantastic thing! I hope you enjoy LOTRO for many years to come.

      Like

  28. mandysond says:

    Totally agree! I had the same situation with street fighter! It was crazy! Yet so addictive..

    Like

    1. cary says:

      Oh man, I love me some Street Fighter! It’s super easy for me to loose hours to a good fighting game, especially when I find the right groove with the right combination of characters.

      Like

      1. mandysond says:

        I know right! I’ve got a teeny obsession. Definitely should spend more time on essays considering I’m at Uni rather than playing this game? It always starts out as a button bash 😦

        Like

  29. Xanthor says:

    Reblogged this on 42 Webs.

    Like

  30. enhillstrom says:

    I felt the same way about Mass Effect. I became so attached to the characters that I was actually really upset whenever someone died or something terrible happened. I loved the KOTOR games as well and that was why I ended up getting Mass Effect. However, I find that I just don’t enjoy video games at all anymore after Mass Effect. It’s like there’s a hole there now and no other game could possibly fill it. Perhaps I just don’t have enough free time to get attached anymore, but either way, games just aren’t really that appealing, which is a shame because I know there are so many great stories and characters just waiting for me. At least I still have all of my books to keep me entertained. (And Netflix…)

    Like

    1. cary says:

      Yeah, it’s all too common (though, happily so!) for us to become attached to our characters. I agree — it was tough moving onto other games after ME. I started playing GTA IV during one of my last ME playthroughs, and though I had a blast with Nico’s story, it was nowhere near as engaging when compared to ME.

      Time is also a big issue with me as well. That’s why it took me awhile to find my footing with Dragon Age 2. With most games, if I don’t click with it within an hour or two of playing, then I’m probably not going to keep playing. But I knew I had to stick it out for DA2, and so far, I’m glad I did!

      Like

  31. Reblogged this on itsolus and commented:
    WHEN U KNOW ITS RIGHT

    Like

  32. That’s so true!! When I’m playing a game I really enjoy it’s stays in my head even when I’m not playing. Great Post!!

    Like

    1. cary says:

      Thank you! There’s no better sign of a great game than when it gets inside your head. Of course, maybe that can be a little distracting at times, but we can handle it! Gamers are great at multi-thinking. (Like multitasking, only with thoughts.) 🙂

      Like

      1. You’re really awesome Cary!! Sorry I didn’t replied earlier I just haven’t blogged in awhile. You’re a real Role-Blogger to me which is like role model just with blogs. 🙂

        Like

      2. Oh I almost forgot! Visit my blog it’s pretty lame since its not finished. but here’s the address http://lucariosblog.wordpress.com/

        Like

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