Spending a significant chunk of our days at home will most likely prompt many of us to be creative with the time we’ve got when we’re not dealing with real world problems. We all need time to relax and de-stress because, let’s face it, living through a global pandemic is depressing and rife with a lot of anxiety for many of us. A running joke I have seen on social media is how introverts are more capable of dealing with long and extended amounts of time inside than the extroverts and social butterflies of the world. As a self-professed introvert much of the time, I do think there’s a grain of truth to that joke. I’ve got plenty of home activities to keep me busy for however long I’m expected to stay home. Being unable to commute to the office or go out in general doesn’t bother me too much, but I do miss seeing friends and family in person. Despite the extraordinary circumstances, I’ve taken this as a good opportunity to draw my attention back to my video games backlog.
Surveying the sizable mountain of video games in my room, there hasn’t been a lot I’ve added to the collection in the last few months. Other than a few games I’ve received as presents last year, not much has changed. I own a number of good quality titles that I’ve been interested in playing or friends have recommended I should play. The desire to purchase a brand new game hasn’t been particularly strong. Maybe it’s because I already know I’ve got enough to play to last me for months or years. Or I’ve been wise with my finances to not give into any more impulse purchases for games.
Part of the year has been mostly dedicated to my writing. I’ve been a bit uncompromising about letting anything else distract me from reaching my goal, which often meant I’ve shunned gaming in favor of focusing on my craft and reading books for additional inspiration. Juggling a wide array of interests is something I’ve struggled with over the years, and still do sometimes. With no where to go and nothing else to do, other than what you have at home, it has given me extra time to squeeze in a little bit of gaming on weeknights or weekend afternoons. When times are difficult, you’re going to want to choose games that will give you a much needed escape.
I have said I’ve been playing Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but I’ve also recently been playing a side of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings for the Xbox 360. I’ve been drawn to a lot of high fantasy in both the TV shows I’ve been watching or the books I’ve been reading. Splitting my time between Breath of the Wild and now The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is very much in line with my unconscious need to be whisked away to a land of magic and strange creatures.
I’ve been mostly inspired to pick up The Witcher 2 again after finishing all 8 episodes of The Witcher on Netflix. I downloaded the game to my Xbox 360 back when it was one of the free video games offered by Xbox Live Gold. The last time I played the game was in 2015 when I managed to finish the prologue of the game. At least that’s what my save file says. The fact that I haven’t touched the game since 2015 blew my mind. What was I doing during that time? Probably playing other games or living life, or something. Now that I’ve been playing The Witcher 2 for the past two weekends, I’m finding myself getting sucked into Geralt of Rivia’s adventures. I’ve been taking the time to read every new entry about a character Geralt encounters or the places he travels to. The lore is extensive and rich, which makes it far more enticing to keep playing and seeing how Geralt resolves the latest predicament he finds himself in.
A game like The Witcher 2 may be old by video game standards, but it’s still a worthy title to play when you need a bit of distraction. After rediscovering a game I’ve been missing, I’m also eager to finish this one to play The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt next. I certainly owe the Netflix show for inspiring me to finally give the games the attention they deserve. Not a bad way to spend a lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
What video games have you dusted off from your backlog?