Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring Break 2185 (Mass Effect 2)

I just finished Mass Effect 2. Holy crap. It was frakkin' amazing.

I'm still a bit jittery from being terrified for the whole end game (Oh god, who's going to die?!), but also my head is buzzing with excitement. An awesome game ending kind of gives you a high like that.

Unfortunately, I can't chatter on here too much since I need to go to bed because tomorrow morning I go back to school. Back to the real world. Back to problem sets and studying and advisor meetings. It's all so mundane. Seems utterly insignificant coming off saving the galaxy. I'm not sure how I can motivate myself. I try to console myself about spring break ending by reminding myself that the Housemate is coming back from vacation tomorrow. But even he seems boring compared to the friends I've been hanging out with on board the Normandy*.

Perhaps there is something unhealthy about delving so deeply into a game--committing so completely to a fantasy--for an entire week. I did a few miscellaneous other things over break: made two trips to the grocery store, watched some TV shows, did a load of laundry, fed myself,** slept. But Mass Effect 2 was never far from my mind, and it certainly enjoyed a plurality of my waking hours. Mass Effect 2 really was my vacation. How do I now deal with the shock of crashing back down into my dull Real Life?

I guess it's not so different from someone coming back from a Caribbean cruise, facing job and house chores after living a week of luxury and beauty and gluttony and relaxation and entertainment. I'm just coming back from a cruise in the Terminus Systems. I'm sure I'll be fine.

It may be hard to explain to some people at school ("So what did you do over break?" "Played a computer game." "Anything else?" "Uh, grocery shopping?"), but I had a really, really great break. I had a lot of fun, and I feel a great sense of accomplishment (even if my accomplishment was a virtual one). I'm satisfied. I'm happy. And I have no regrets.***

* I told the Housemate via video chat that I had cheated on him with a romance in the game.
Housemate: Do I need to come back and (pounds his fist into his palm) teach the guy a lesson?
Me: Well, he's kind of like one of the top assassins in the galaxy, so you might not want to mess with him.

** Thanks to my first RPG, Baldur's Gate II, for teaching me good gaming habits with its load screen advice: "While your character does not have to eat, remember that YOU do. We don't want to lose any dedicated players." Words to live by. Thanks, BioWare, I've certainly been a dedicated player.

*** As long as I don't remember all the studying that I need to do.


Sam said...

I know what you mean about getting emerged in a game. When The Sims came out, (sometimes still now too) I was glued to my computer. A bomb could have gone off and I wouldn't have cared, or moved. :)Glad you had a good spring break!

Eleni said...

Yeah, exactly.

Though there was that story of a couple whose real-life baby starved to death while they were taking care of their online virtual baby. Sorry, that's kind of so tragic that maybe I shouldn't be bringing it up but... My point is, we won't go that far. A healthy immersion never hurt anyone.

Sebastian said...

Very jealous.

Still not finished ME2. Can't invest the hours required to get truly lost in a game world any more :(

Must try to rectify that some time as I'd really like to finish ME2... and BioShock and...

The next game I complete will probably be Super Mario Galaxy 2 I guess!

Eleni said...

What? You who were mysteriously playing the game several days before its release? Not finished?

I guess when you're having adventures in the real world it takes away time for your game world adventures.

You have to finish it some time. My brother sometimes gets really far into games then doesn't finish them--even ones that he convinced me to buy (e.g. Morrowind, NWN, NWN2)--and it drives me crazy. It's definitely worth finishing.