Posted Nov 15 2018 - 07:01 PM
I made a mistake.
Since I got engaged to my wife, I have pretty much given up gaming. My reasons were many, but it primarily had to do with a shift in my priorities and the fact that I left my gaming computer at my parents’ house. At the time I moved out and even now, I don’t have much time to use it anyway, and my brother has invested as much money into that computer as I have. He may call it mine, but he has as much a right to own it as I do, so I just left it with him until or unless he decides to buy his own.
Regardless, I have played probably a combined total of 5 or so hours since last November. However, due to circumstances in which my wife attended a wedding as a plus one for her sister, I spent this last Saturday hanging out with my dad and brother at my parents’ house. Having caught up on life and played a game of Uno, I decided to jump back into the last game I played just to pass some time and get some nostalgia kicks.
And that, my friends, was my mistake.
See, if there were any game series I could truly consider my weakness, and if I could name any game series that I have missed and often wished I could play again, it would be the Dark Souls series. I don’t know what it is about those games that I enjoy so much, but every time I get more than an hour into them, I get hooked—almost to the point of obsession.
The particular entry I played that Saturday was Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin, which I have before considered my least favorite in the series, though I still enjoy it. I didn’t make much progress due to the limited time I had to play, but that hour or two was all I needed. I felt that old obsession creeping back in. Five days later, and I still haven’t stopped thinking about it. I’ve spent much of my free time at work scouring wikis to read about bosses and locations and enemies and weapons and the different magic. I keep wondering when another opportunity will arise in which I can play again.
Few other games have affected me like each game in the Dark Souls series has. I wouldn’t consider myself an expert on any entry and I’m probably a middling player at best, but I so thoroughly enjoy the experience. Even when the games frustrate me or annoy, I cannot deny the sense of accomplishment when making it past another boss or another tough area in the game. I cannot stop thinking about the different builds I could try, or how I might have handled one boss or encounter differently. These games represent the pinnacle of why I enjoy gaming: it’s not just a pastime or hobby, but a great mental challenge—not just against the developer’s efforts, but against myself. Can I alter my strategy that keeps failing to make it work? Can I utilize weapons or tactics that go against what I’m comfortable with to progress through an area I’m stuck in? Can I make it past the next challenge?
It may be another couple months before I again get the chance to play, but you can bet that when I do, the obsession, which will probably ebb in the meantime, will return again in full force. And I’m okay with that.