Some call me nerdy, some call me a dork, but I think my choice to game is an intelligent one. You see, I can either:
A) be ridiculed occasionally by people who really have no idea what they're missing while playing exciting games that capture the very essence of life, love, and tragedy
B) live life without video games.
Easy and obvious solution here, people.
Games are fun. They allow you to solve problems without ever leaving your couch. You're invited to enjoy riveting storylines full of action, whoopie, death, and joy, all while basking in the splendor of today's graphic talent and technology.
Games are relatively inexpensive, especially if you purchase from resale stores like Gameworks. Oh and yes, you can sell your games back to these stores. For money. Real money. Money you can use for other things. Like more games.
Another attractive element within the wondrous world of gaming? The anticipation of yet another golden egg on which to feast. New games are constantly developed. New consoles arrive every 3-6 years. You have a constant stream of clear, blue innovation to dip your toes in. It's delightful, really.
The only problem I've found with gaming (aside from an obvious lack of time....stinkin' responsibilities) is the fact our gamer market is dominated by.... well....... dudes. We have a plethora of dude developers, dude players, and dude-targeted marketing strategies. This is not to say I'm unable to enjoy a dude game. Quite the contrary; I've never seen men be so romantic. The storylines can be as captivating and detailed as any romance novel.....better, even. Yes, you can read about Triss being rescued by a shirtless, ripped man who can see in the dark and prefers making love in elven pools filled with wildflowers......or you can act it out. Yourself. With chocolate and wine. In your pajamas. BAM.
This lack of female-developed games perhaps creates in me the very thing our dude developers wanted all along: the desire for more. Much, much more. You see, when I'm done playing a game I've just lost myself in for, oh, let's say five or six months, I am dying for more. I reach out looking for something comparable to drown my loss in, but almost always turn up short. These fantastic, chick-friendly games are, in my humble opinion, hard to find.....and yet so worth the search.
Below are a few of my favorite games. My gamer taste is specific: no online, multi-person games, no shooting games (although they can have combat elements), some sort of pretty environment/music, and a fantastic storyline.
If you are on the fence about gaming, I beg you try one of these games. Just for me. Just for a sec. It's a beautiful, unexplored world.....go on an adventure and try something new!
Jen's Top Seven:
Honorable Mention: Viva Piñata (this one is specifically for those with kids - it's funny, cute, and addictive): Create your own piñata land! This game is very simple to play, but can keep you entertained for hours.Jen Attract Points: Bright colors, funny characters, unicorns
Annoyances: The need to strategize to attract the larger piñatas - too much work for a game with no storyline
7. Assassin's Creed: You are a highly-attractive Italian with an amazing penchant for climbing walls and jumping rooftops. The graphics are so good I literally become nervous when leaping from insanely high cathedral steeples. The storyline keeps you going in this one; much of the terrain is the same olive-tinted hue.
Jen Attract Points: You can swim, fly, ride, run, climb, jump...your actions are limitless
Annoyances: I need more variation in my town and land graphics
6. Darksiders II: Death: I just started this game and immediately fell in love with the fact I could ride a horse pretty much anywhere I wanted. Your character, as creepy as he looks, is actually quite hilarious.
Jen Attract Points: Hard to die, pretty environments, easy weapon upgrades
Annoyances: Glitchy environments (you get stuck in rocks and cliffs sometimes), too few leveling-up benefits
5. Heroes of Might and Magic IV: I like to play this game with Aaron. A LOT. Multiplayer mode is fun because you can be a team and take turns tearing up the computerized players. You can also choose to be a gorgeous elf who lives in a fantastic tree. I took a screenshot of it once. Really. Look at my picture (below).
Jen Attract Points: Beautiful and creative factions, very exciting leveling-up rewards (DRAGONS!)
Annoyances: Multiplayer maps are restrictive and redundant
4. Fable II or III: You can choose to be a woman or man...but more importantly, you can choose to be good (earn your wings and halo) or bad (earn your horns and scars). The game is hilarious, the towns are stunning, and the storyline is great.
Jen Attract Points: Time to explore, side quests, humor
Annoyances: Fight sequences/quests can get repetitive (I left Fable I out of my list because I couldn't stand how repetitive the quests were becoming)
3. Civilization IV: The Civilization series is fantastic. Civilization was the first PC game I ever played. It hooked me. You build your civilization from the ground up, utilizing resources, diplomatic relations, cultural monuments, and military leaders. It is SO much fun, do NOT be intimidated by the slight learning curve when you first begin.
Jen Attract Points: You can be a Russian Czarina, horses, building cut-scenes
Annoyances: I heard Civ V was awful. This disappoints me greatly.
2. Titan Quest: Immortal Throne: You are a hero and must save the world from complete chaos. Think amped-up gladiator surrounded by enchanting music and creative character options. You can summon howling wolves to fight by your side, raise a dead army to assist your cause, or even call forth a fairy archer to help take out your enemies from afar.
Jen Attract Points: The nature specialty, female character, incredible weapon sets
Annoyances: The desert world absolutely sucks
Jen Attract Points: Sexy cut-scenes, non-linear gameplay (like a choose-your-own adventure), gorgeous graphics
Annoyances: The third one isn't out yet
So there you have it. The working mom's list of video games. You don't need to spend hours at a time in front of a computer to enjoy video games. I play when I want to, no pressure. Try one! It's fun :)