The Edge of Immersion

The idea I have for this blog is that this place will be my own spot on the internets to talk about my gaming experiences, my likes, dislikes, and ideas among other things. This is here to be my take on gaming, my feelings for characters, events, new IP directions, but mostly it’s here so I can be true to myself.

So let’s start.

I figured out in 2007 that my taste in video games went past just playing “Madden” or “MLB the Show.” Don’t get me wrong. I like those games, especially baseball, but there isn’t a dire need to buy one every year. I realized, thanks to an up all night gaming session with “Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion” that there are some pretty badass games out there. And all I need to do is broaden my gaming horizons.

What was once just something I did to pass the time with on weekends slowly trickled into a serious passion. Suddenly I was looking up information about games, old and new. I wanted to see what other games were out there like Oblivion and because at the time I didn’t have a PS3 I was forced to live vicariously through others. But when I finally got that PS3 you better believe that Oblivion was the very first game I purchased. That and Assassin’s Creed. The historian in me couldn’t pass that one up.

These two games lifted me to a whole other world. Suddenly I was wrapped up in some ancient grudge between Assassins and Templar’s that was ultimately leading to some real world conspiracy. All while I was trying to both close the gates of Oblivion and preventing the bloodline of Tiber Septim from perishing. Just remembering it now reminds me of all the hours I spent exploring and immersing myself into these games. That’s what makes gaming so special to me.

Video games aren’t just games to me anymore. I’m not just sitting in front of a screen jumping over barrels and firing turtle shells across a rainbow road to sabotage other drivers. True, that may have been super fun but now I’m immersing myself into these games. I throw myself into these worlds and I become one within it. Sounds overly dramatic right? Well I would agree, which is why I don’t say that out loud. But for all the hours I spent walking about in the cities of video games I become invested. It’s funny to think about it now, but the other day I had a customer come in to the store asking me about “Tom Clancy’s Division.” He asked me what kind of game it was. So I explained it’s a third person shooter with elements of an MMO. However in this game it’ll remind you of the Rainbow Six games of old. You know the one where you had four extraction teams and it was your job to go in quickly and quietly to rescue the hostages from the terrorist; I put some miles on that game. But one thing was always sure. I always tried to walk out of the missions without any collateral damage or any deaths to my team, kind of like “Socom Navy Seals.” Never leave a man behind. Either we all go down or I’m dragging you out of this mission by your collar. But if I lost a man, it hurt me. I honestly felt bad. I didn’t realize it at the time but thinking about it now. I realize that my “immersion” approach to gaming goes back to when I was even 11 or 12. It’s an approach that either really sells me onto a game or doesn’t.

Oblivion for example was my first game in the Elder Scrolls series. If you have ever played any of those games you’ll know that there is a ton of lore in them. The history addict in me loves this. It makes it that much more real. The fact that you could dungeon crawl into old Ayleid ruins always gave me goose bumps. I loved it so much my house in Skingrad was a shrine dedicated to the Ayleid relics of old. Collecting relics wasn’t even part of that game. I just loved to do it. I wanted to know more about the lore of the game, so I read books, in game and out of. I read web pages and wiki notes. I couldn’t get enough. And yes, you better believe that when Skyrim released I spent at least four years playing it consistently over the span of seven characters, maybe eight. The point is I immerse myself in my games. This is my edge. I hope. I see things in the way of my character. I role-play if you will. So much so that sometimes it drives me from a game. Sometimes I can’t deal with certain aspects of a game and emotionally I need a break.

Crazy huh?