Getting My Life Back

Hello world! It feels like such a long time, in fact it has been quite a while, but now I’m back.

You may remember I’ve been travelling a bit a lot around the world for work over the last few months and it’s left me with scant time for anything other than to remember which country I’m in and what I needed to talk about on that particular day.

ALL other activities in my life suffered because of this, and I do mean suffered! Sarah has essentially seen me for about two days every two weeks for the last five months (Christmas notwithstanding), I’ve neglected making sure my family are okay (Hello, Simes – I’ll see you soon, I promise!) and there is a list of things to do IRL a full mile long. Gaming? Well my laptop has WoW installed and I’ve been able to spend some time in Azeroth but frankly the combination of travelling, working, ‘networking’ (an awful term meaning being nice to people you don’t know and frankly something I’m not very good at) and making sure my day job is also getting done left me with less than zero time to commit to fun.

iPad! RISKiness

The iPad has proved to be somewhat of a ray of sunshine, though. I’m not huge on playing games on that form factor, but there have been a couple which my colleague and I have spent some time on mid-flight. Games which you wouldn’t typically think about, like Risk!

Now if you’re of a certain age, you’ll remember Risk as being both the most exciting and most frustrating board game around. There was the thrill of battle and the annoyance of having a dice roll go against you and losing ALL of your strategically positioned troops. The iPad version brings that all to a shiny touch screen near you. I actually enjoyed it very much.

Now, though, I’m back at my desk here at home. I have my consoles in front of me and my stack of games waiting to be played. My quest list in WoW calls to me in my sleep and I’m taking a week off to catch up on things. In my immediate future there is of course all of the practical things in life to be dealt with, but I WILL be setting aside time, significant time, for gaming.

I’m not an addict (and yes, I know ALL addicts say that but I’m not) but I have genuinely missed and craved playing while I’ve been away. The scant moments spent online in WoW were double edged in their swordiness as they served to both dull the immediate need but also to sharpen the overall hunger for immersion in my game worlds. It also caused me to reflect – especially in those dark hours, long haul, when the rest of the cabin is asleep and I’ve watched all of the movies I can bear – how GOOD our gaming lives are. I mean, really really good.

Just one extra hour… it'd be SO handy sometimes!

One of the things I’ve done recently is go back and re-read all of my reviews here on the site – you may have noticed we’re assigning scores now – and, while I’ve been honest in my positioning and scoring, I did take pause for thought and my conclusion was WOW! We are spoiled rotten right now. The quality of the majority of the titles being released is high, very high indeed and things are only getting better. My personal favourite of last year, ME2, set a standard and an expectation for the conclusion this year which I simply can’t wait to see being matched or even exceeded and the other genres are moving in the same direction.

Kinect and to a lesser extent, Move, have built on the Wii’s body-driven aesthetic and taking it to a new level, all we need is immersive video and there’s your VR, my friends. The tech and the products of the tech which we take for granted right now are actually pretty damn special. Perhaps it takes an enforced step back to make us appreciate these things. I’m pleased I do.






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