Tag Archives: World of Warcraft

Final Fantasy: My Gateway Drug

4 Aug

I want to quit my job and play Final Fantasy all day.

It’s been a growing concern ever since Dave started playing the most recent installment of the game series.  Not so much because I’m an avid Final Fantasy fan (I’ve played several, but not all and thus wouldn’t dare starting a geek war with anyone), but because I actually want to play World of Warcraft.

It’s been a long time since I’ve found something to fill the void of that gloriously epic massive multiplayer online game that zapped the life out of me, added 15 pounds, took all my money, and catapulted me into a world of eternal bliss not many years ago.   Of course, I wasn’t achieving anything “real”.  My only achievements were chronicled in the quests I completed while roaming the world of Azeroth.  My real life achievements were nill.

It probably had something to do with my schedule at the time.  It went something like wake up, sit at computer and play, get hungry, order pizza, eat, get sleepy, go to bed.  Somehow I managed to make those small tasks last me an entire day – and sometimes all night.  

It’s surprising how long one can live off leftover pizza if rationed appropriately.

And though it wasn’t a particularly proud existence, I could have happily carried on in my nerd cave until the end of time without caring much for the consequences.  Unfortunately, World of Warcraft costs money and sitting in my bedroom unshowered for days on end didn’t pay well.  Sooner or later I needed money and realized that listing “raid leader” and “super epic elf hunter” on my resume wasn’t exactly setting myself up for success.  So I swore off the game and vowed never to return.

Until less than a year later.

But the second time I quit, I quit hardcore.  I uninstalled the program from my computer hoping that the ridiculously long installation process would be a deterrent for future relapses.  And in a startling blow to my inner desires, Responsible Jackie got a laptop that isn’t capable of supporting the game’s graphics.  So if I ever want to start up again, I have to buy a whole new computer.

Enter Final Fantasy.

Though FF could never fill the void that WoW has left in my soul, it does offer a decent and safe alternative.  Though it will also propel me into months of slavery to a machine and stats, it is far healthier than WoW because it 1) has an ending and 2) isn’t online.  It also doesn’t punish the player for not achieving things in a certain amount of time or reward them frequently with enormously epic gear.  But the gameplay is pretty much the same.  I get to use magic and I get to kill things.

I also have Dave to hold me accountable, who is fully aware of my sordid past and is prepared to leave me should it resurface.

I have yet to pick up a controller and try my hand at Final Fantasy 13, but I have been seriously letting the idea brew.  I keep getting glimpses of release from reality and true relaxation juxtaposed against images of my fat, greasy, college shut-in self.   Will picking up the controller catapult me into a life without a job, without Dave, and without sunlight?  If I stop posting, you’ll know why.

Tell the rescue team to check under the pile of pizza boxes for a pale, smelly non-contributor. 


Confession of an UberGeekNerd

5 Jan

Sometimes I feel like I understand the miniscule, shaky line that society has drawn between geeks and nerds and then I read something like this Wikihow and I’m utterly confused again.  So to solve this issue forevermore, I will simply refer to myself as a GeekNerd.  

Me, a GeekNerd? Alas, it is true.  In fact, I feel that with so many recent subscriptions to Twist365, some of ya’ll deserve a better grasp of what you’re in for.  So here I give thee: Confession of an UberGeekNerd.

I suppose the dead giveaway is that my dad is a Dungeon Master.  And no, I’m not referring to a dirty kink… I’m referring to the wonderful world of Dungeons and Dragons.

If you’re still reading this, thanks.  This is where I usually lose people.  In fact, I’m pretty convinced that aside from my aggressive personality and bizarre cartoon voice outbursts, my role-playing habit is probably the next best reason I didn’t have much of a dating life in, well…ever.

See, my father being a Dungeon Master meant that my entire life revolved around D&D.  When I turned 13, he proudly handed me a 20-sider and allowed me my rite of passage: rolling up a new character.  It meant I was truly part of the family.  After all, my mother and two older brothers played every Tuesday night without me because I wasn’t allowed to join the table until I was of age. And I’ll admit that when the time came for me to jump in, I totally digged it.  There’s something about sitting around a huge table of men approaching a midlife crisis with their huge velvet bags of bulk-ordered multi-colored dice and pieces of paper in front of them that served as proof that they were not really themselves but actually wizards, fighters, and powerful mages in a highly developed fantasy world that seriously altered my adolescent experience.  

Our entire house oozed with peculiarities.   My father’s bedroom was a library bursting with fantasy novels from which  he gleaned material to create his very own world for his friends and family to play in.  In fact, he eventually wrote his own reference book, which was as thick as a dictionary and chock-full of pictures, reference materials, spell charts, and some of his original art.    Oh: did I mention my dad’s an artist?  A really good one, too.  In fact, he just received his Masters to compliment his dual undergrad and is making some truly groovy stuff.  I’m hoping to commission him to jazz up my site soon.  But before all that happened, dad’s biggest outlet for his artistic desires was in the form of character wanted posters.

Essentially, my father would develop a core group of characters in his D&D world and introduce recurring enemies for them to fight.  (For those of you who actually know what I’m talking about, he ran a campaign with old school modified 2nd edition, not this crazy 4th edition 20-sider based business you’re all up to now).  So once characters had committed crimes in his world and the recurring enemies started to take notice of them, he proceeded to draw up wanted signs and plaster them all over our dining room walls, complete with portraits, who was hunting them and the amount of the reward in gold pieces.    Many a Baker family dinner was spent munching on spaghetti and talking about our days with imaginary Dungeons and Dragons characters staring down at us from every side.   For a while, the only thing that even made that room resemble a dining area was the fact that it had a surface to eat on.  But then Dad decided to redesign the table.

When it became absolutely crucial to our gaming experience, dad decided to transform our dining room table into a Dungeons and Dragons table.  He coated it in black acrylic paint and cut a huge square hole in the middle which he replaced with gridded plexiglass and two freshly mounted black lights.  Reason would dictate that this was unnecessary and perhaps not the most sound decision based on the fact that D&D was only scheduled for Tuesdays and living our lives was scheduled for all other days.  But it was also admittedly totally awesome.

It’s unfortunate that I eventually had to grow up and go to college because it meant that I could no longer be part of my dad’s D&D world.  It also meant that I had to find a way to fill the void, which was immediately accomplished with World of Warcraft.

My gaming addiction is a beast in itself.  The best indication I can give you of the severity of my problem is that one of my best friends in college gathered up his desktop computer, brought it over to my suite, pounded down the door, and demanded that if I wasn’t going to come outside, he was going to set up an equally addictive game beside me so that he could at least still spend time with me.

He was a damn dedicated friend.

If that isn’t enough for you to fully grasp the picture, perhaps it will help if I also add that my current boyfriend and love of my life recalled just the other day how when he first met me,  I was always in my room, unshowered and in my pajamas, huddled over the computer with boxes of pizza hidden beneath my mattress.

Hey – something had to fill the void.

Supposedly, I’m cured now.  I eventually got the courage to uninstall Warcraft (after a terrible relapse or two) and it is now safely tucked away in my basement storage locker.  It still calls to me sometimes in the still of the night.

So for now, I have nothing.  I have no D&D, I have no WoW, and thus I have no outlet for my GeekNerd addictions.  I suspect that I can only go on like this for so long before some underworldly demon rips me from reality and tosses me into my own personal hell.  After all, I work right down the street from GameStop and I can’t  help but notice all the expansion packs.   Not to mention Blizzard’s Diablo III is currently under development and the release of that game is a burden that may be too incredible for me to bear.

So I’m stoked that I finally have a laptop.  Because any day I may relapse, quit my job, and disappear from society, which will inevitably leave me homeless and wandering from coffee shop to coffee shop in search of an outlet and a table with which to feed my beastly addiction.  And if that day comes within the span of my 365 Project and I happen to blog about it, maybe you can all come visit me with your computers and play your favorite addicting games so that I feel like I’m part of the human network again.  ♣

Hey! I’m not alone in my resolution to blog every day.  In fact, WordPress is encouraging everyone to resolve to update their blogs once a week or once a day in 2011.  Check out these cool cats who are giving it a shot:
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