So a few weeks ago I had a bizarre conversation with a guy about some of my video game fan art. I couldn’t quite figure out what he was asking until a few sentences in, at which point I realized he was asking if I really play video games.
Short answer: Yes, I play video games.
Long indulgent answer:
I typically play on console (Xbox 360, and XBone) because my computer skills aren’t great, and I have a tendency to drive my computers into the ground doing art, to the point where more knowledgeable friends wonder how I’ve not yet set the hard drive on fire. They are also universally appalled by the amount of dog hair trapped in the fan.
I did once manage to get a version of Fallout 1 to run on my work computer, and even managed to install the necessary mods to allow it to play without crashing. I was very proud of myself for this achievement.
While I played a bunch of xbox games with my husband and friends, I didn’t actually own my “own” console until the Xbox 360. I inherited my husband’s hand-me-down console, and as a result it’s a bit older and has trouble sometimes running in the summer. (The weather has been in the upper 90s lately, and sometimes in the low three digits.) I’ve played so much Borderlands that my friends will no longer play it with me, and I started soloing with Krieg and the Baroness. Because my 360 has a tendency to overheat at the drop of the hat, I finally had to call it quits for the season, but will resume play as soon as the weather turns cooler.
(Oh! I just remembered: John and I were also working our way through Earth Defense Force: 2025. I can’t tell if the writing is supposed to be that goofy, or if it’s just that goofy by accident. Either way, I adore EDF games!)
However, after Bethesda’s announcement of Fallout 4, my husband and I splurged on buying anniversary gifts for one another in the shape of matching XBones. We also each picked out a game that we could play together. I picked out Elder Scrolls Online, and he picked out Dying Light. Our XBones also came with the Halo collection. We wanted to pick up the Borderlands Handsome Collection, but missed the sale – but we WILL get it sooner or later!
So what am I actually playing these day?
I’ve been playing a lot of ESO on my own. While we’ve talked with friends about playing it together, it’s hard to find time to really dedicate to it, and ESO takes a LOT of time to really immerse yourself in. I typically play only a few hours during the weeknights – I try to keep it under six hours or less. On the weekends all bets are off, and if I can shirk all responsibilities and play from sun-up to sun-down, I will. This is far more rare than I’d like it to be, though, and only happens once every few months. John was out with friends the other week, and I had a great time running around Tamriel, trying to figure out how to manage my inventory and find skyshards.
Typically on the weekends I can talk my friends and/or husband into playing Dying Light. We’ve only recently made it to the second map in the game, and any confidence I had in myself as a zombie killing machine has evaporated. (I didn’t have a lot to begin with.) I have only played a few hours of this game on my own, and typically get so freaked out when I play it that I have to wait for friends to sign in, or else I’m a wreck of nerves.
I’ve been really impressed with how the controllers work with Dying Light – I know so little about game programming and design so I can’t use technical terms to describe what I’m feeling, but I can tell you that sending Crane running across rooftops feels good. And when you manage to land a jump that you shouldn’t have, or when you manage to save yourself from splattering on the asphalt by a timely grappling hook intervention, it feels even better.
So, there you have it: yes, I play games, but no more than six or so hours a night, and only if I can get away from doing chores, running errands, or being social.