A Walk on the Dark Side

Perhaps this damned cold/virus has finally taken its toil, but I no longer seem to have the strength to resist the Dark Side. The unrelenting clouds and rain certainly provide ample excuse for finally giving in. For whatever reason, I’ve begun playing Dragon Age Inquisition on Windows using an XBox 360 controller, something I’ve resisted for years despite my long love-affair with computer games.

I’ll admit to loving Dragon Age because it was one of the few best-selling computer games to come out for the Mac in recent years. I waited anxiously for nearly three years for the third edition to come out, only to learn that there isn’t a Mac version yet, and might well never be. I was pissed, but my addiction to the game made me look at the possibility of finally installing Bootcamp and Windows on my new Mac Pro.

After finally getting Windows up and running, Leslie bought me Dragon Age Inquisition for my 73rd birthday. After Tyson and his family left for Colorado, I installed the game, only to discover that it was nearly impossible to play using just the keyboard. Nope, it required a XBox controller, another device I’ve studiously avoided after a few initial attempts to learn how to use one. Learning how to use the controller was, indeed, a painful experience.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I couldn’t even figure out the symbols used in the Dragon Age manual well enough to know which joystick/lever to perform basic actions, much less know which of the several buttons/triggers to use to access menus or actions. I died so many times when I began playing the game that I thought the game should have been called Groundhog Day. Given enough practice, though, I did manage to learn how to nearly walk/run in a straight line and attack easy monsters using the controller.

The last few days I’ve found reasons not to go to bed at the normal time, not to get up at normal times, and not to go birding or to the gym. I knew long ago that I’m a compulsive gamer. Once I start playing, I find it nearly impossible to stop playing, not to let the game take over my life. So, if you don’t see any posts here for a while you can blame it on Dragon Age — or the rain descending upon us.

Hopefully I’ll have defeated all the monsters and saved the world by Superbowl Sunday so that I can get back to an even older addiction.