I’m going to start by sharing something that I’ve learned about myself in the last twelve months: constantly having new games to play drastically affects the time I devote to writing about them.
That sounds sarcastic but is actually pretty genuine, at least in the sense that I never knew. The family computer wheezed its way through a near-graphics-less game of RISK, back in the day. I squirreled away precious cash to a controlling share in the family SNES, only to have my game time limited because–you know–parents. Similarly, my pre-S NES days were perpetually stymied by the interaction between cartridge batteries, how rpgs used to save, and a brother who was six years younger than me and never punished my parents for erasing my save right when I got to the fucking Marsh Cave for the tenth fucking time! College allowed me to exist on OPP (Other People’s Playstation 2s), along with OPX and even OPC (I offered a freshman the choice between giving me his soul and keeping his desktop computer in my room for a semester; he was devout enough to part with the electronics. To be fair, it was keep the computer in my room or send it back home to his parents, since his actual roommate did not believe in computing).
But for most of my life I’ve been straight broke, and particularly of such limited means that buying a new upgrade of any sort was out of my reach entirely. I might rent a game here and there, or benefit from the largess of a friend or roommate, but I’ve had to devote a lot of time to scrabbling for any game I can get to work on whatever system I had at hand. EVE (my weary Macbook) stood by my side for many years–actually, she’s there right now–but beyond wheezing through Torchlight, NWN, and DDO her status as both a Mac and a laptop prevented us from keeping current.
Now I’m married. I have a wife; we share a home and bills. Suddenly, if Torchlight 2 puts itself up for pre-order, or the hype for Guild Wars 2 reaches an inescapable crescendo, or The Secret World says “Hey, kill Cthulhu,” or Grimlock smashes in a digital format, I can just peel of some cyber bills and have the thing on the other thing! Frankly, I’ve probably peeled a few too many bills off in this fashion, so I’m glad I’ve weathered the worst storms of the years (ominous forboding much?) and can quit buying games in order to play some. I not only haven’t beaten Skyrim yet, I haven’t actually joined either of the warring factions; that’s with something like 80 hours poured into a half-dozen characters in that game.
The point of this post was to stress that, despite my bowing platter of gamey delights, I’m rededicating myself to engaging in critical and creative discourse regarding this beloved hobby. I would have said that more elegantly, but I have to cut myself short now and get ready for tonight’s DnD session. Because that’s a thing I get to do too.
How’s your life?