Gaming

So one of my biggest passions is gaming!!!!

I play diverse video-games (mostly in the genre of RPG though I play others as well), but two have been the most present in my life: World of Warcraft, which I play (officially *coughs*) since mid 2006, and the Final Fantasy saga.

I’ll start with FF: the first time I came in contact with the saga was when I saw the FMV (Full Motion Video) screenshots of FFVIII on a gaming magazine on January 1999. I was 15. I fell in love. It was beautiful, it was glorious, and had to be mine.

ff8-1 ff8-2

The game had too much of a romantic plot, but at that age I was perfectly ok with that! =P
That was the first game I actually “played”, was with it that I started seeing myself as a gamer. After the first play-through, I did a second one to try to get every item, every sidequest done, every mini-game. I followed a walktrough, but only on my second+ tries: I don’t like when they spoil the game, so my first tries are always completely blind.

I then played FFVII, FFIX, FFX, FFX-2, FFXII and half of FFXIII (got a bit bored mid-game, so I picked FFXII again just for giggles). They have had a more futuristic look, medieval looks, steampunkish looks here and there, a mix of all, romantic plots, religious conspiracies and even political wars. They’ve had full bad-ass villains and shades of grey ones, awesome (and not so awesome) main characters and SUPER awesome secondary characters (oh Balthier)! And, on my part, I’ll keep on playing these games. Next I need to buy FFIV!!


Now World of Warcraft is a completely different monster. Unlike FF which is a single-player game, WoW is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), which means a HUGE community of players. I have been playing the game for 9 years now and I have made a lot of friends from all over the World during those years. I still talk to people I met over 7 years ago. We play different factions now, but we still talk and it’s awesome. I unofficially already played the game before I officially did, when an ex of mine introduced me to a…ahem, private server. When I like something though, I gotta have it. That came true when I saw the first expansion cinematic – The Burning Crusade.

Two new races were added: The Draenei of the Alliance (the purple dude at the start) and the Blood Elves of the Horde (the one in the red dress), which are, of course, mortal enemies. Since I was Alliance, I rolled a very pretty Draenei Paladin (the class of the guy in the cinematic) and made my objective to get the same armour and mace that he was using – which I did and I still have them c:
I then turned to the dark side, so now, the same character, is now a Blood Elf of the Horde <3

Although she is my main achievement / mounts / pet gatherer, I no longer do end-game content with her, in the sense I don’t kill the hardest bad guys with her. That is a job for my other Belf, a Mage, which my guild group benefits most from. She’s in the featured image c:

Both of these sagas have something in common: a very VERY rich story and characters, and a lot of mini-games and stuff to collect on the side. There’s always something to do!

This all to say: I invest time and money (monthly subs) in these things, yes, for sure. But believe it or not they keep me sane. I rather kill characters in games than going ballistic in real-life =P
It’s an escape, like anything else.

O M G

The moment you pop on your Belf Mage on World of Warcraft and teleport to the wrong city, but then you hear a familiar voice…and you realize your faction leader is your British Final Fantasy XII internet boyfriend Balthier!!!!

OMG

Gaming and Surviving Life

Some people still turn their nose up when they know that 30+ years old spend too much time gaming. What these people don’t get is that, in my particular case, gaming saved my life.

I was a shy girl. When I say shy I mean “hiding in the corner, hoping to be invisible” shy. Except in classes. I was always very attentive in classes and absorbed everything like a sponge. And when I got home to study, not only did I understand it better due to that, I could almost quote the teacher. So when questions would arise in classes, my hand would shoot right up, Hermione style. This, of course, can attract bullies…

I went through bullying when I was in high school, but I endured the worse part of it when I was 12-15. My school “friends” from the time will say it was just banter between friends, that it was just a bit of a joke: what they don’t know was that I’d go home crying every-single-day…all I wished was to get ill or simply not get up the next day so I didn’t have to go to school.

Now that may seem an exaggeration, but I was young, everything was super dramatic. Thankfully there wasn’t internet nor social media the way know it now (all we used to communicate was basically mIRC), so as I got home I would be safe, it was sanctuary, the bullying was confined to the school hours.

If I was shy before this, it only got worse. If I saw someone from school coming my way on the street, I would get out of my way to cross the street just to avoid talking to them…It would lead me to avoid people, except for 1 or 2 that would know me outside of school and knew my “real” personality: I was fun, like silly fun, but most people didn’t see that side.

As I had no friends (or almost none), gaming was my escape. If it was a complex game, that lasted 50+ hours, with rich story and characters, perfect. I would invest in those characters and be happy. It took me away from the world a few hours everyday, and for those couple of hours I would forget the bullying…I still remember when I saw the pictures of Final Fantasy VIII sprawled across a gaming magazine – that game had to be mine.

At 18 I decided to “run away”: I applied to a college about 400km from home, knowing that there was no one there that would know me – the bullying, the name calling, everything would be left behind. A fresh start.
It worked. I became outgoing, more silly, a dancing queen, a flirt, and a happier person all together. It made me free to be who I was all along.

ffx

To this day I’m still a gamer. I mean, I have 200+ hours alone in Final Fantasy X.
That save alone is long before the final battle, so I can keep collecting what I’m still missing!

This is exactly the kind of games I enjoy the most. I’m also a very avid World of Warcraft player since 2006, a bit before the first expansion came out. I made awesome friends there, some of them people that I’ve been in contact for over 7/8 years: I love the community in general (even if, like all things in life, shit exists) and I’m an avid collector. Mounts and pets specially c:

Also I’m now active online, something that I avoided a bit at the start. I joined Facebook long after most of my friends had, just to keep in touch with people, and I only had one picture. Took me 2 years after I created the account to actually use it.

So yes, I’m a 32 year old gamer. And I’ll still be one at 42 and 52 and so on and so on \o/
It helped me get through bullying and allows my imagination to run wild. Also, God of War and Tekken are great games to kick ass after a stressful day since, you know, you really can’t take it out on people =P
Game on!!! J*