The time has come. I’ve been fighting the idea for several months now, but the nagging sensation has become too loud to ignore. It’s time for me to admit that I’m finished creating gaming content. My schedule has gotten to be incredibly crazy with kids in soccer, basketball, band, volleyball and whatever other miscellaneous activity is happening on any given day, but the bottom line is that my heart is not in it any more. If it was, I’d find a way to make it work, but it’s just not. I started this journey back in February of 2011 when I signed up for a plucky little MMO called Lord of the Rings Online. My interest in the game and community, and later the larger gaming community, continued to grow as I deepened my understanding of various aspects of the industry and broadened my network of fellow enthusiasts and friends.
A few weeks ago, I made a decision. I was going to read more. As a boy, I enjoyed reading. But somewhere along the line, the tone of books targeted at me turned. Around the age of 13, I noticed that instead of fantastic adventures and mythical stories, all of the books on our library’s “recommended” section turned to tales of sober pre-teens dealing with everything from neglectful parents to the death of peers. Perhaps I came from a naive, privileged background, but these stories did nothing but bore me at best, and dim my future hopes for humanity at worst. I became disenchanted, stopped reading, and save for picking up a few books here and there along the way, have never been able to pick it back up.
“Greetings Starfighter! You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the frontier against Xur, and the Ko-Dan Armada.”
As someone who grew up during the age of the original Star Wars trilogy, I’ve always loved that kind of action space fantasy. Before I’d ever heard of Frodo and his suicide mission to Mount Doom, I was soaking in the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Alex Rogan, and James T Kirk on the big screen. Our recess playtime was occupied not with team sports, but with imaginary space battles and light sabre duals.
As LOTRO celebrates its 10th anniversary, many have decided to share their personal experiences with the game. It’s funny how difficult it can be to summarize the complex relationship you share with your favorite games. As I tried to wrap words around the three (or thereabouts) years that I actively played LOTRO, It became apparent that I would have to organize it into several different sections to adequately segment the different phases I experienced for the purposes of concise communication.
Sometimes a game just clicks. However, this was not the case when I decided to play through my two Mass Effect games (1 and 2) that I picked up during a Steam sale some time ago. Even knowing that the first game would be a little rough due to its age, I decided to go through them in order. You may remember hearing me talk about that plan when I was still contributing to MMORPG.com’s Game On Podcast.
I’d heard a lot about the Mass Effect series. The games seemed to have a huge following, and I loved the idea that events from one game could carry over into the next title. But Mass Effect 1 never really hooked me. I enjoyed the character interaction, but the story seemed slow to get going and I never really figured out how to navigate myself around the galaxy once it opened up. After a few nights’ worth of play sessions, I found myself driving around in a physics-defying moon patrol car wondering if I was even on the right planet for the mission I’d been handed. After that night, I never launched ME1 again. I took a small break from gaming altogether and when I returned, it was Elder Scrolls Online that beckoned and not Mass Effect.