While most of you youngsters were out there celebrating the dawn of 2015 with drink in hand and surrounded by friends and loved ones, I watched the red ball drop fuzzed out on painkillers and muttering angrily about my aching, twisted back. Everyone else in the world shouted, "Happy New Year," and I offered my traditional annual toast: "Ugh, here we go again."
Gaming is unpleasant with a ruined back. I can't sit properly in my chair - in fact, I think it's the chair that has done a number on my spine. I'm using an older chair now, one that tilts waaaay back because it's slightly broken, and things are slowly getting better. It is this infirmity that has helped to forge my 2015 New Years' Resolutions, Grumpy Gamer style.
For starters, since I can't think straight while I'm in constant pain and/or medicated, and the position I am forced to sit in makes it awkward to type on the keyboard, I decided to play a game that required very little thought and minimal use of the keyboard. My usual MMOs tend to be too "think-y" so I dumbed it all the way down to the action RPG, Marvel Heroes 2015.
It's the kind of game you can just sink into, like a pool of quicksand. It has nothing to do with an immersive story or a sublimely-detailed game world or incredibly deep characters that develop over time - it's all about repetition and straight-out grind. I got all the starter B-listers to 10, then apparently unlocked Wolverine while medicated and semi-conscious. Somehow, the gamble paid off, because Wolverine is evidently super-hard to kill even when you're half out of your wits on muscle relaxants.
Resolution 1: Get Wolverine to level 60.
To be honest, I am not terribly optimistic about 2015's "Most Anticipated" games. Most of them look like they will severely annoy me in some way. Skyforge looks kind of neat, but from the description and the concept art, I can't help but envision a game world populated almost entirely by Thors and Lokis. Having never played any of the Ultima series of games, I am more or less immune to the hype around Shroud of the Avatar. The trailer looks pretty great, but it seems like a game that is reaching way beyond the stars, and the last time a game made promises that grandiose, we got the Elder Scrolls Online. Which I already have.
Resolution 2: Play More Elder Scrolls Online.
I've been maintaining a subscription to TESO since launch, but have never gotten very far in it. I don't know why that is - I love Elder Scrolls games, I enjoy MMOs (believe it or not), and TESO is a lovely-looking game. I think one of the problems I'm having there is sharing my Elder Scrolls game with other people.
I'm not normally an aggressive player (unless you count passive-aggressive), but you sort of have to be to get anything done in that game. You want to mine an iron ore node? Race the other guy there and get it first because it might be the last one you see for a while. Need to kill a dungeon boss? Get in there, wait in the queue and make sure you tag it the second it spawns in or you wait for the next spawn with the other lollygaggers. Wanna loot that locked chest? Make sure you get it right the first time or the guy standing at your shoulder will nab it as soon as you break a key or fumble the lock.
Resolution 3: Be Less Nice To People
Because I'm not an aggressive player, I often end up taking much longer to accomplish things. Like, if I start running towards a resource node and I see someone else also making their way there, I will often just walk away and let the other guy have it, knowing that there is literally an infinite supply of the stuff because the nodes respawn. If I need to kill X number of creatures in an area and I see someone else there doing the same quest, I will wait for the other guy to finish rather than go around stealing "his" kills.
Not anymore. Screw it, my back hurts and I no longer have that kind of patience. I'mma get mine while I can still sit upright, you can get yours later on when I can't. I now have a perfectly legitimate reason to believe my time is more precious than anyone else's, and to behave accordingly.
I'm also going to make a point of stepping up my troll game, but that has nothing to do with my scoliosis.
Resolution 4: Get an Ergonomic Gaming Throne
Yeah, if I'm gonna keep doing this for a living, I need to tend to my aging spinal column. It's affecting my work by limiting the amount of time I can spend sitting. I therefore require a seating implement that supports the natural curvature of the spine, promotes good posture and allows for proper circulation in the legs, while also cradling and cushioning the buttocks, without placing undue pressure on the tailbone. Or, better yet, one of those awesome workstations that would make me feel like I should be considering the ethics of cybernetic implants in a dystopic corporate future. Or piloting a starfighter.
Somehow I doubt TenTonHammer would be willing to foot the bill for this kind of thing - even on medical grounds - but a fella can dream his muscle-relaxant-and-painkiller-and-New-Year's-Eve-shot-of-whiskey dreams, can't he?
I'll probably just end up getting something on sale from Staples or IKEA. But it's damn well going to have lumbar support.
Got any gaming-related resolutions this year? Let us know in the comments!
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