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GAMES, YES

24 June 2006

There are precisely two Nintendo DS games that I am still playing. Actually, they're the only two games I'm still playing, period. Every day. And neither of them are actual game-games. One of 'em is Brain Training, or Brain Age if you live across the pond, and the other is Animal Crossing, which is also not really a game as much as it is... an existence.

Regardless, this sad state of gaming is of course due to my hands being totally smitten with RSI and therefore needing absolute rest. This I will do in the summer vacation, with plenty of books, blah blah blah, I think I've bored you enough with this. You're not reading this so I can use this space as my personal blog and get all emo on you; you want spicy rants where I wave an angry fist at the world! See how you handle this, world! Let's see if you can take this really tightened fist that I shake in your direction angrily, wherever you may be!

I've been playing a bit of Animal Crossing over the excellent Wi-Fi network that runs just great on my standard wireless internet connection (no external devices needed; just pop in a game and I'm online). I've mostly played with my girlfriend Mon, who adores Animal Crossing just as much as I do, or quite possibly much more. Because you see, where I still live in a semi-small virtual house with a single room; she already has a veritable estate with three rooms and an attic, and it's just plain crazy. Amusingly, she's a bit fearful that people might think that just because she plays Animal Crossing a lot, she isn't a 'real' gamer. Well, let me assure she can whip my ass anytime with Resident Evil 4 (not that there's a multiplayer option, but you know what I mean), she plays a mean game of Bust-a-move and is currently tackling Beyond Good & Evil, Silent Hill 3 and the awesome Psychonauts. So apparently she's not just an honest-to-god girl gamer (I'm so blessed to have her! Brings a tear to the eye), she also has premium taste.

With the fact that I can't play games comes obviously the irresistible desire to go wild with them. Oh, how I would love to dig into Psychonauts again myself, or Grim Fandango even though the year's not over yet! Or maybe a game of Starcraft, lovely Starcraft! And I'm also starting to feel the overpowering urge to go back to World of Warcraft again, especially now the new expansion's coming out. Now this will not happen, permanently, because of my hands and also because it costs many moneys, but I still indulge in the fantasy. I don't want to return to level up or to eventually join silly raids or whatever. I want to return to once again run around in that wonderful, colourful world, explore it, scale the mountains, visit the ruins and tackle the dungeons. It's a virtual world that's extremely interesting. That makes it of course all the more tragic that most of the actual gameplay consist of threadmilling your way to some level cap whereupon the only thing left to you is massive impersonal raids or some such. How I would love it if there were still things to do in the first areas when you're already level fifty and beyond! How I would love it if there were things, meaningful things to do that weren't about levelling. But even on the roleplaying servers there's not much roleplaying, and having a sit-down at the bar while some unknown traveller tells enthralling tales... that's a fantasy that will not likely come to pass.

But who am I kidding; I won't be able to touch these games for months to come anyway. That is why I'll just have to dream about them, and kind of unleash all this onto you, dear reader.

Roderick.