Sunday, August 31, 2014

Pleasures of the Guilty

Wow, I've had better weekends...

...But last night I found a couple of quiet hours for myself, so just to indulge myself a little extra, I connected a laptop to a 46" screen to get some size and played a little Skyrim. I let all worries about the upcoming week of work, all the meetings, all family matters, things I need to write and do, I let it all go away for a while and allowed myself to immerse myself back into the land of the Nords for a while. And it really made a difference. When I went to bed I felt a lot more content, and after a few pages of Esslemont's Assail I slept soundly (I could've said "I slept like a baby" but as I have a youngling sleeping at my side these nights, I can assure you that sleeping like a baby is a weird, weird, proverb).

When looking through the eyes of my character, the Dark Elf Shadows (yes, he's shown up on this blog before) on a fairly big screen, I immediately fell back in love with the sense of adventure this game provides. Cause what I really was hankering for, was some roleplaying, and so I decided to really "be" Shadows last night. During last night's voyage (I try to skip fast travel for that immersion), I met a ferocious ice dragon harassing the townsfolk of Dawnstar, and later, an even more ferocious blood dragon somewhere out in the wild, attacking a bandit stronghold. Navigating an enraged dragon and angry bandits was a fun experience. That's what gives Skyrim its extra points - the potential for the unexpected. For all the linear quests, you can still strike out and do whatever you feel like, within the frames of the game obviously.

Shadows against a blood dragon, somewhere north and east of Falkreath (which I hadn't visited before last night)

Once again I also noted that the popularity of A Song of Ice and Fire must have had some influence on Skyrim, as it feels far grittier and medieval than the four previous The Elder Scrolls titles did. Love it.
I spent a good amount of time trying to defeat a heavily armored orc in a small dungeon, keeping a table between me and him so that I could survive; this fellow could smack me down with one stroke with that bigass sword of his. I wore him down with arrows and fire, until I finally succeeded. And it felt so good! After months with little to no gaming (aside from, say, nine hours in Divinity: Original Sin) it was nice to game away the evening and I didn't even feel guilty about it.

Yesterday, Skyrim was more therapy than guilty pleasure.

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