So, my life is so utterly dull right now it’s untrue. I wake up, I study some, I look for a job, I write some fiction, I go to bed. Sometimes I go on a run (I am really excited for the release of Zombies Run! for android, because I’m pathetic) or do some weights. The rest of the time I play computer games. Mostly Skyrim. I’m so obsessed with this game I have the OST on my writing soundtrack. I nearly had an orgasm over the Dawnguard trailer.
So, it’s perhaps a little understandable that my Apocalypse Obsession is being quiet right now (though it’s still there. When studying Pugin and his role in the Gothic revival I was like ‘bloke designed defendable buildings, I’ll give him that.’ I visited a Cathedral built in the Gothic Revival style, and while other people were praying to their god, I said to my husband ‘Barricade the doors and you have a pretty decent emergency shelter if you board up those big windows.’)
So, I wanna talk about some more things I’ll miss post apocalypse, I have to say that right now the thing I’ll miss most is….
GOD I LOVE THEM. SO MUCH.
I mean, I love reading more, but when I’m too tired or distracted or sad or whatever to read, a video game provides the required immersion and reality avoidance with minimal mental effort on my part. I get to feel real human emotions in a muted form about things that don’t matter, and most importantly I get to rack up a terrifying kill count without being arrested because the 1137 people I killed were just pixels.
It sounds like I’m dissing the medium, but I’m not. When I say I love them, I mean I actually love them. I am occasionally critical of bad games or the culture of racism and sexism within the industry, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love them. They’re capable of telling real, emotionally affecting stories in a deeply immersivve medium, which is fucking great. Love em. Passionately and positively. I don’t bitch about it when a game isn’t what I want- I am just sad and quietly resolve to not buy the next one as soon as it comes out (Fable 3 I AM LOOKING AT YOU.) This is my hobby, I enjoy it, I generally feel positive about it. I have my favourite franchises like everyone, but I’ll give new stuff a try (By the Way, Enslaved is a shockingly underrated and undersold little game set post apocalypse. It’s pretty cheap these days so if you spot a copy, grab it), but I don’t get overly invested in games in the way I do books. A game has shocked me, often (Bioshock), made me sad in a sort of nice way (Fallout 3 and New Vegas, when coming across the remnants of life before the war) but I’ve never been the sort to cry over a computer game. Throw my controller, sure, but cry, or jump around in happiness? I save that for books. What games do for me is to take myself away from whatever else is happening in my world and make it better for a little bit. I can be an incredible person with magic powers instead of an unemployed 26 year old in rented accomodation.
Post apocalypse, they’ll be gone. Even if elecrtricity is still about, we won’t have enough of it to dedicate to my desperately important Skyrim schedule. And I will REALLY, REALLY CARE ABOUT THIS. Because while I love to read, there are going to be plenty of bookstores to loot, so I won’t run out of new books too soon (though I will kill myself if all that’s left is Dan Brown). And I love to tell stories, but I can do that with my mouth. Video games kinda require modern technology, and there won’t really be anything comparable around, any more. There’ll be nothing that can take me out of my shitty world in the way gaming can, nothing to make me feel amazing, nothing to take out a bad day on, just my unending, heart-crushing life.
God, I’ll be stuck with with table top roleplaying. And three of the people on my team are Rules Lawyers. KILL ME NOW.