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Video games, my favorite distraction

5/25/12 1:19pm

 Sometimes, we just need a distraction. Maybe to take your mind off a problem for a bit so you can come back to it with a fresh mind. Or maybe you're thinking negatively and need to fill it with something that'll push those thoughts out. You can read, watch a movie, or, of course, play a game.

Recently, I find that I need such distractions; better to be focusing on saving the world or getting to the next level then casting everything in a negative light. But some games don't really do it for me, whereas others can divert all attention just like that. They just naturally seem to make your mind attune to everything going on in the game. Or they're just fun. Whichever works.

One example is Kid Icarus: Uprising. You pretty much HAVE to keep focused at all times since, well, you have to watch out for attacks at all times. Its like Super Smash Bros.; anything or anyone can do something crazy at any moment, and you need to make sure you can respond to it. All the more on higher difficulties; they didn't call them "Intensities" for nothing. And I know there's been a few times my mind drifted off a bit, only to re-divert its attention once I noticed that half of Pit's lifebar was strangely absent. Heck, the multiplayer is definitely Smash-worthy in craziness as well; "You don't have time to think about such things, because IMCOMING CHARGE SHOT!" followed by "YOU MUST RECOVER!" as you scramble to activate Pisces Heal. And I probably say (or at the very least, think) "crap!" more then Nathan Drake when I'm the angel, and I have all three members of the opposing team looking at me.

One game I WISH I had to keep me distracted is Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Which is funny because the game actually intimidated me back around the time before it came out (all the news and whatnot, and it didn't help that it was a Meme-mobile before it even came out. I guess I was worried about becoming "one of THEM". Plus, I felt that I'd just get lost with all the quests it'd throw at me.) But this March, I had nothing better to do at my cousin's, who had it for XBOX 360. Next thing you know, I've logged several days worth of playtime. And no wonder; the world is huge, and has a ton of locations to discover. And that mountain of quests I was worried about suddenly became a mountain of adventure. Heck, even raising a skill can be fun, watching it increase in power and getting more perks. Smithing in particular was fun for me; something about being able to craft your own weapons just appeals to me (which is likely why I spent a good amount of time plundering Dwemer ruins for metal. Plus, it was the first skill I got to 100). Sadly, I still don't have my own copy, but I try to play it whenever I can. Its more fun being the Dragonborn.

Also, love the archery. No idea why. The fact I read a lot of Robin Hood in my younger days might explain it.

And if there's one genre that's built on your mind working overtime, its real-time strategy. Like with StarCraft II, which I've finally aquired (old PC was... old). You're busy trying to manage resources, build buildings, creating units, managing a defense, creating an army to attack, researching to improve said army and defenses, expanding your reach to get more materials, etc. And I've heard good things about the campaign, and so far, I like what I'm seeing. The branching paths, the thought you put into what upgrades to buy, certainly a step up from StarCraft (although, lacking the campaigns of two races is kind of a downer). I just hope that the multiplayer has as many User Made Scenarios; pretty much all of my time on StarCraft multiplayer was in maps like that. Took away the pressure of having to be good at the game (well, good at a multiplayer level), while still having fun.

Overall, games are just great for helping me divert my attention. More then a few times my mind switched from "negative mode" to "logical thought mode" by merely booting up a game. Granted, sometimes I get discouraged from playing, but then I just do something else, or play another game. Because thinking too much is very dangerous I find. Moreso then any bottomless pit or Zerg rush.

m the angel, and I have all three members of the opposing team looking at me.

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