Do you know what I like about video games? If I don’t like the way my game is going, I can totally start over from the beginning. Or, restart from a previous save where I made a completely doofus decision and things went downhill because I decided to take so-and-so’s quest instead of doing this other thing, or maybe kill this NPC because the quest required it instead of sparing them like I really felt I should have. Yeah… totally don’t like the way the game is going? Restart it. Those portraits I posted a few days ago of my Skyrim characters? The tip… the very tip, dear reader, of the character iceberg. Those are just the ones I got good screenshots of. There are so many more I never even thought to take screenshots of, and so many that the screenshots just looked… not great. But starting over is what I like about video games. And it that makes me a “filthy casual” well, so be it. I play single player games and I play them the way I want to. Bite me. I have nearly 1800 hours in Skyrim (including the remastered version) and I think I’ve played through the main quest twice. I know I’ve only played through the downloadable content (DLC) a couple of times. I actually have mods to keep those from playing. Why have the DLC if I don’t like them? you ask. Well, one needs them for specific mods to work. And they came with the remastered version.
I have over 800 hours in Fallout 4 and I don’t even really like that game for the story. I just like the building mechanic where I can make settlements and build houses. Oh, and mod the hell out of it to make it more… playable. I guess. I’d never play it out of the box because it’s… well… pretty awful. In my humble opinion. I’ve played through the main story once. Seriously. Once. It sucks balls. But I do like making settlements and finding many of the little stories Bethesda has written into the world. They are good at world building.
But seriously for me it’s about building settlements in that world. And with mods, I can totally build them the way I like them. And because it’s a video game I can then hit the “new game” button and start the hell over. 823 hours, y’all. That’s a lot of building. ^_^ There’s also a part of me that doesn’t like to end a game on an unfinished note. For example, my character in Prey (2017) right now is sitting in a room trying to figure out how to get a keycard off of a man whose body is floating in a magnetosphere chamber that’s sending out pulses which will kill him. Not a good way to end a game. Even if I never finish the game, I’d still like to end it where at least some things are accomplished because… pocket dimensions? I dunno. I’m weird that way. And I totally restarted Prey after 20 hours because I didn’t like how my character was turning out, some of the decisions I’d made early on that turned out to be bad choices. Now I have 40 hours in the game and haven’t made it halfway through. Again, if that makes me a “filthy casual” I don’t care. One of the things I like about video games is the fact that I can restart them if I’m not comfortable with the way my game is shaping up.
Sometimes I’d like to think we can restart ourselves in real life, but if we could do that then what happens to the lives we’re living now? It doesn’t really work that way, does it? I mean, there are over 7 billion people in this world, and there’s no way they’re all gonna reset just so I can start over. You know? So I slog on through this life with the save game I have, because we only have the one. But there’s kind of a restart thing going on even as we make our way through this life we have. I’ve mentioned before on this blog and my previous one that I made quite a few conscious life decisions when I was about 16 and I realized that my brain was starting to misfire… that it wasn’t quite working the same way as everyone around me was working (it was around this time that my bipolar manifested). That was kind of a restart because I had to rethink how I navigated the world. And those life decisions actually served me pretty well for quite a long time. They kept me relatively sane, out of the nuthouse (for the most part) and able to walk amongst society without much too much hate and discontent within the ranks. But those choices I made back when I was a kid were based on my mind falling apart, they didn’t take into account my body falling apart too. I always kind of assumed I’d be fairly healthy throughout my life. Most of my family comes from healthy stock (not counting the mind cooties) why not me?
So yeah, right about age 30, maybe 35… definitely 40, my body’s warranty ran out. Most people can putter along until 60 before their warranty expires, but nope, mine cashed in early and everything started falling apart. But I didn’t hit “restart” on my thinking. Because I’m stubborn like that. I convinced myself for a long time that I could just keep on keeping on the way I usually do and everything would be okay. Silly me. That worked for about five years before my body had enough of my mind’s shenanigans and gave up completely. And then I had to restart the way I think *again* so I tried something new — went to college and got my degree. Figured I’d become a teacher. I had a plan and everything. Silly me. Plans are for normal people. So I had to restart the way I think again… and this time… well, this time it’s taking longer. I have no plan. I’m stuck. I can’t fall back on all of those life choices I made when I was young and in full control of my thinking because those choices just aren’t valid anymore. And I can’t reload an old save and start again where things went wrong. We only get one save in this particular game of life. It’s taking longer than I expected and it’s very frustrating.
But… that’s okay. I have a husband who loves me and who’s content to let me find my way. I’m good. For now. This restart is taking a while, but I’ll get there. I will. Eventually.