On Expanding Gaming Horizons
When I first moved out of my parents’ house, I was paranoid about spending money. I mean, I’ve always been a relatively frugal person (which is how, on my student loan income, I afford to randomly hop on planes as whims call), but I was really, really scared about spending back then. So to cook, I bought a single seasoning: one bottle of teriyaki sauce.
For just about every meal, for several months, I used nothing but that bottle of teriyaki sauce on everything. I ate teriyaki chicken, teriyaki beef, teriyaki seafood…also teriyaki rice, teriyaki eggs, teriyaki bread…you get the picture. I eventually polished off the whole bottle and I haven’t been able to eat anything teriyaki since.
And that, friends, is the story of my life. Gaming is no different. I buy a game, I play it, play it, play it, play it until I’m finished. I rarely play more than one game at time, all my free time and energy is channeled into a single obsession of the season. I play the fuck out of my games. Go through my gaming collection and you won’t find any fuck left in there, it’s all been played out.
Then along came WoW. I’ve been playing WoW for, what, four? Five years? I can’t remember. All I know is that I’ve never reached the end. I keep playing and playing and it keeps getting longer. As a result, I’ve been very cut off from the rest of the gaming world. Why play a new game when you can spend every night in Dire Maul grinding goblin rep for no other reason than grinding goblin rep? I mean, really!
Lately, listening to friends, listening to podcasts, just listening in general, has made me itchy to try something new. But there’s always the excuses of “not enough time, not enough money, need to do all this Old Azeroth stuff before Cataclysm comes out!”
Then Hurricane Igor stepped in and stole my internet for 2 days. (Also, the picture in that link was taken from the hospital where I go to school. As you can see, it was a very wet time)
It was rough…withdrawal…the goosebumps, the sweating, the shaking, the panic…
Besides my guild getting All You Can Eat (25 Player) without me (they ALWAYS do things like that, meanies!), it was awesome. My room is the cleanest it’s been since I moved in, I did four loads of laundry and I was able to go to all my classes because, without WoW, I had gone to bed at a decent hour.
But was even more awesome was that it took away my excuse of “I NEED TO FINISH VANILLA WOW CONTENT RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW!” I had no internet so I had to dig through the games I had.
I sort of regretted not having set up Starcraft II for offline play. And not having downloaded those games my guildies recommended for me. And not having an emulator on hand to fire up Final Fantasy Tactics (which one reader will be happy to hear that I did discover among my games here).
The first game I popped into my CD drive was The Sims 2. I had wanted that game so badly when it first came out! Back in the day, I had played a lot of the original Sims. From what I read about the game, it had all the good stuff from the original and fixed all the annoying stuff . Unfortunately, it was going for more than I was willing to pay (that was the bottle of teriyaki era). Years later, I came across it in a second hand store in San Francisco for 10$. Yay! Only problem? The friend traveling with me also wanted the game. I think he ended up buying it, but I ended up bringing it home. Yet, because of WoW, I had never played.
What’s the verdict after installing and playing the Sims 2?
Eh. Was very disappointed. I didn’t like any of the pre-made stories. All my Sims wanted to do was flirt with each other. I have a rather large aversion for emotional dependencies so I was quickly disgusted. I tried designing my own neighborhood but got annoyed when I couldn’t make my houses look the way I wanted.
In frustration, I gave up and went back to my pile of games. I pulled out FFVII, an old favourite that I’d been dying to play again. Now, while I’m not very technical (I’m not sure what a motherboard is, only that it sometimes catches fire and that’s bad), I’m somewhat of a genius when it comes to making stuff work. Comes from being very clumsy and breaking a lot of things in my life. Try as I may, though, no combination of compatibility mode options would get the game running.
Saddened, I put FFVII away. The next game I found was Myst. A game I’d played a lot as a child, but, being a child, I didn’t understand it and didn’t get very far.
You can probably guess, though, that if FFVII didn’t want to be played on my computer, Myst, a way older game, just laughed at me.
I eventually settled on Beyond Atlantis. It’s from the same era as FFVII, but unlike FFVII, it actually works on modern computers. It’s another one of those games that I played extensively but was too young to beat. It’s no Myst, but it’s a fun puzzle adventure game and I do quite enjoy fun puzzle adventure games. I’m also proud to announce that I managed to beat one of the levels entirely on my own, without looking up a walk-through. It was frustrating- one thing WoW has killed for me is my ability to figure things out without reading a guide, but so worth it in the end.
I’m not quite finished the game yet, but I hope to finally beat it so I can move on to other, more recent forms of video game entertainment.
Somehow this rambling post reached 1000 words. This is why I don’t update often anymore. All these words come out of nowhere. Anyway, as of this morning my internet is back up and running. I haven’t played WoW yet, but despite my vows to play other games and finish Beyond Atlantis, I somehow expect myself to be back in Dire Maul at the next opportunity. It’s in my nature.