Friday, 18 May 2012

Play on

As an avid reader and an equally avid gamer, I've never really wondered why it should be so and why i am attracted to some games and not others. Then a thread on the Geek Girls Book Club on Goodreads got me thinking - am I really attracted to games that tie in to my love of reading?

Quite honestly, yes.

I've never been a fan of fighting games because as far as I'm concerned, there's just no interest in beating the snot out of someone. Sure, I'm a violent person with violent daydreams, but even then my mind-fights have relationships at their core. And so it is that Tekken, Mortal Kombat and the like have never held much appeal for me.

Ditto with racing games. I don't see the appeal in trying to get a car around the track as quickly as possible. Okay, so there was that time I played against MadCat while using Guttermind's racing seat, but that was more for the geeky fun of using a force-feedback seat with actual foot pedals and a gear lever to hurl the vehicle around the track. Otherwise - no fun.

Puzzle games are out for me, mainly because, well, I'm a lazy thinker. I don't want to be figuring out how to get the glowy ball in the hole or what pattern to use when trying to align the chakras. Here's when I'd rathe rbe hacking and slashing my way through foes.

On the other hand, many of the other female gamer-readers seem to be huge fans of MMPORGs (Massively Multi-Player Online Role-Playing Games) like World of Warcraft, Star Wars: The Old Republic or Guild Wars, to name but a few. Here's where I fail again: I don't play well with others. Even in my Diablo II days, I was never very good at teaming up with someone - not even MadCat. When I played with Moosquared, she'd get so irked with me running around collecting everything (even though we shared!) she'd stop playing.  So, I'm a one-person player.

I started playing Dragon  Age: Origins a few months ago and fell in love. Here's a game that's brutal, gory and unforgiving - but one with realistic female characters who run like warriors would when weighed down with armour, and who actually WEAR armour and not the ubiquitous metal bikini. Women who are strong and independent in their own right. A storyline that includes romancing your fellow characters as part of the advancement of the plot, and affects how other characters perceive yours. One that allows for a variety of gendered relationships, even bisexual. okay, so no transgendered, but certainly much more inclusive than any other game out there on the market.

Bioware has rocked my little world. And I've decided I need to experience more of their magic, so I've bought myself Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. Yes, I'm late to the party, but suddenly I realised it was Bioware attached to the game and that it wasn't simply a first-person shooter and BOOM! Lights going off, that kind of thing.

Of course, I've just received my new copy of Diablo III, so I'm heavily into that at the moment. Going to try and finish off Dragon Age Origins so I can get started on DA2. Got Sims 2 to reinstall and start building. And considering buying Torchlight 2 and dipping my toe into the SWtoR pool to see if I can actually play an MMPORG.

Basically, what I'm looking for is something that actually involves me as a character. It needs to catch my interest and make me care about my fellow characters and NPCs. I need to be so invested in them that I shed a tear when one of them dies, that I worry about sending Alistair into the firefight first, that Morrigan has me feeling a little sheepish with her sarcasm, that Leliana makes me feel protective and Dog has me grinning goofily at his antics.
I love my games, and I love my books. And now I know why my love of fantasy and science fiction translates into my love of hack and slash and RPGs.

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