Hi, Dann here! Sarah’s other half, and I’ll be taking this next letter in the alphabet because I wouldn’t shut up when she was brainstorming ideas for topics beginning with E.
Personally I think there’s loads of topics that could be waffled about starting with E; Enki, the Sumerian god; EGad, and other funny blasphemy-dodges; (Sir Anthony) Eden, and political waffle. While history, language and politics are all hobbies—Oh gosh I sound like a bloody dullard— of mine I’m instead going to talk about something that encompases my other hobbies, and, well, all hobbies really. Escapism.
Escapism is critically important to all of us, even if we only find it while taking the long walk home some days, or in taking a moment to reflect before we put our heads down to sleep. A major one, that we probably don’t give much credit to as parents, in when we play —relaxed— with our kids; laughing and smiling, forgetting about the daily grind.
For me, and many people, there’s other major forms too. I don’t spend time watching TV, or watching films, and I also don’t really consider browsing the web downtime in any way these days—except those accidental hour-long Wikipedia & IMDB trawls that we’ve probably all been on. No, for me it’s the occasional moment with a book, or a few hours with a game. Yup, gaming is a big one for me.
One day there’ll be a better term for video games, board games, card games, than simply games, because an ever increasing amount of them transcend the normal definition of games. Video games like Dear Esther, What Became of Edith Finch, Proteus, and thousands more transcend a mission to win, they exist as little narrative experiences, areas to walk around in and be told a story. Other games pride themselves equally on having no win conditions even though they are very much traditional games – what is the point of beating an arcade game like Donkey Kong? Is there any point in surviving 500 years in Crusader Kings II? How will you change the lives of those around you in The Walking Dead?For me the chance to do something else, even if it is for —almost— no reason, to do something which stimulates the mind with new experiences, choices, and events, is unmatchable. But, it’s also important. It gives perspective, it gives context, and it gives experiences—even if they don’t transfer directly to the real world.
They’re also social experiences in many ways, especially in the case of tabletop games. In many ways the board games and card games of today are the parlour games of yesteryear; we can still play Charades, or Pictionary, but Bucket of Doom—a game which challenges you to evade a deadly situation with items plucked at random from a deck of cards— is equally fun. Yes, we can all do a big puzzle if we like, or we could all take part in solving a murder mystery as consulting detectives!
Here’s a few links, if you’re bored, to click through and see some of what I just talked about (Clarification, as you can see they are not in any way sponsored links).
Video Games I mentioned (PC, Steam links)
-What Became of Edith Finch?
Board Games I mentioned (Physical, Developer Sites)
-Bucket of Doom
-Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detectives (The Thames Murders)
For some it’s a bath, for some it’s skydiving, for some it’s the ol’ Netflix ‘n’ Chill, what is it that you do to escape?