Slipping into Oblivion (Gaming and guilt)

Where art thou, Blackroot Lair?

I’m slipping into The Shivering Isles once again, and it scares the hell out of me. It’s that special place you don’t want to go, but you know you have to. I can have a thousand things to do one day, only to catch a glimpse of my console, and minutes later I trawl any given dungeon in search of some kind of meaning. At the time of writing, Oblivion has siphoned over 100 hours from my life, leaving me with at least two unfinished essays and countless of broken promises. Still, it lures me back to its continental sprawl of real-estate, caverns and angst.
The scale of this game is ever frightening, as it seems impenetrable even to the experienced explorer. In addition to the bewildering vastness, you’re constantly knee-deep in books and conversations covering everything from politics and religion to flora and fauna –
but you’ll learn how to ignore all that soon enough.

But I’m missing the point. I’m guessing you’re all very aware of what Oblivion is capable of. Which leads me to this: When did it become a chore to play games? Do you get the feeling that sitting down with your favourite RPG has become a serious undertaking, and often,
a guilt-inducing addiction? Do games demand too much effort these days, are they too expansive, or do you revel in gameplay ad infinitum? What game is responsible for your social ruin? Was it always like this? How am I supposed to manage my character and the real me at the same time? You know, go to work, have coffee with friends, finish off that essay and still have time to wander aimlessly through the realms of Dementia and Mania, which, I guess, isn’t too far from where I live anyway. Which reminds me, I really need to find Blackroot Lair…

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8 Responses to Slipping into Oblivion (Gaming and guilt)

  1. amateuse says:


    Pixeljunk Monsters
    is my weak spot. It draws me in every moment possible. The only problem is: I don’t own a PS3 or the game in any other way. I frequently visit my friends in possession of it, “dropping by” to hang out and then as soon as they go to the restroom I start the game and stop reacting to the surroundings. My longest streak was 11 hours in their sofa, while they slept, went to work, came home for lunch (I got some too) and later back from work for the day. I hate myself.

  2. amateuse says:

    And yeah, I hate Oblivion. Not because it draws me in but because it repulses me. Everyone in the game is ugly. How can you make such an advanced character-builder and make everyone come out ugly. I can’t stand the game.

  3. dnkn says:

    My current project is to finally plow through all the Final Fantasy games I’ve missed: VII, IX and XII. That sure feels like a major chore to me. But it has to be done, otherwise I feel inadequate as a gamer and I find myself interrupting discussions about said games with exclamations like “No spoilers!” and so on. I just thank Jesus, Buddha and Cthulhu that the PS2 doesn’t have achievements. That would just be cruel.

    Speaking of Oblivion. I dread the moment/can’t wait until Bethesda releases Fallout 3. I’ll drop everything I have planned for the next few months just to allow myself to get sucked in to Post-apocalypse heaven.

  4. David says:

    Oh yes, everyone in Oblivion got hit with the ugly stick, including my character. Let’s hope Fallout manages to evade that. I also can’t wait till Bethesda announces a street date for Fallout 3. I’ve got very high hopes. And as I’ve said before, I felt like an inadequate lover when I played Mass Effect. I mean, she was hot and all, but I just couldn’t finish it.

    Regarding the thread, I think that when storyline heavy games started adding up to +40 hours, gameplay was stretched thin, and things became a bit tedious. I mean, look at Final Fantasy. It has (supposedly) great stories to tell, but a lot of levelling and grinding in between. Just give me 8 awesome hours, please. I neither have time nor conscience to manage more than that.

  5. […] playing through Icewind Dale 2. Still. It is old and I kind of don’t like it. Then I read Slipping into Oblivion over at A Slime Appears. That article made me think a bit.

  6. Robin says:

    Blackroot is very close to the Dementia entrance : )
    It is the first dungeon I have found in Shivering Isles. Horrible time-eater. I hate myself too.

  7. David says:

    Haha, thanks man.

  8. […] playing through Icewind Dale 2. Still. It is old and I kind of don’t like it. Then I read Slipping into Oblivion over at A Slime Appears. That article made me think a bit. And I am doing just exactly what […]

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