Gaming, my way

Long time ago, in the early nineties, when I was a student and just hooked up with my hubby, we bought our first computer. We’re both nerdy types and had done out research into what kind of specs we wanted for our computer, so we went to a local shop with an equally nerdy owner. After a long and infirmative chat we ordered our PC and the owner recommended a few computer games that went well with our setup, King’s Quest VI and Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers. We got one one them for free and bought the other. Little did we know that this was the start of a lifelong obsession hobby!

Adventures and action galore

The nineties were the glory days of point-and-click adventures and boy, did we play a lot! The nineties also saw the rise of first-person shoot’m-ups but those games never spoke to me. I strongly prefer games that use humor, imagination and creative thinking over violence and gore. I’m getting nostalgic to think that I have experienced a lot of the development timeline of digital gaming, as I also shared an Atari console with my sister in the eigthies.

Remember Donkey Kong and Space Invaders? Those were the days! By my gaming took a back seat when real life knocked at my door, especially when we got kids. But now the youngest is a teenager, I get to play more and, even better, get to share my interests with my kids. My hubby still is a heavy gamer and willing to invest more in games, hardware and accessories.

Simulations and casual gaming

Gaming has become easier than before. In the nineties, the internet was still only accessible through a phone modem connection and pretty much in its infancy. My kids can’t imagine not being able to quickly search for information on the net, but in those days, game books and bulletin boards were often key to successfully finishing many adventure games. Nowadays nobody gets stuck for days on end anymore on a puzzle with a wildly imaginative, multi-step solution. But is it cool to see old classic games being dusted off, updated and released again. Just played Full Throttle again and that was a lot of fun!

But games have evolved and so have I. I played a lot of time management games during the busy years and are mostly playing more relaxed games now that probably fall into the category women games. Simcity introduced me to the world of simulations and its spinoff, the Sims, has to be the games series I have sunken most hours in. But big corps are increasingly milking their games with DLC upon DLC, some of which should be in the base game, which take away a lot of the fun. So, as with my reading, I’m looking more to Indie game developers and smaller studios that genuinely love what they’re creating. And I’m spending more time actually playing the games I already have.

So what is installed at the moment? I have Stardew Valley of course. I just got myself a new PC and haven’t played the 1.5 update, so I ‘m looking forward to start again. With a fishing mod, because my motor skills are too poor for that. Then there is Spiritfarer, a beautiful, atmospheric game that tugs at my heart strings. I just started Cozy Grove, which is a relaxed game that is self-limiting in how much tme you can sink in it per day. I also have Oxygen Not Included, Megaquarium and Parkitect installed for when the buiding itch starts. Other Indie games in my active installs are Before we Leave, Littlewood, and Islanders and Dorfromatik that were developed by video game design students from Berlin. I’m always on the lookout for other interesting titles and actively support the development of Paralives on Patreon. I think it’s just as rewarding to find potential hidden gems as to play them!

Yeah, it’s summer

My summer holiday just started and, as with much of my life, I’m using it differently than many other people. Some of it has to do with my treacherous body, some with my mindset and interests and some with cicrumstances outside of my control (hello covid-19!).

Sunshine and atopy

To start with my health, unfortunately I have an atopic body that doesn’t like typical summer days. With hay fever (for birch and timothy pollen, so essentially present the whole spring and summer), eczema and photosensitivity, sunny and warm days make me stuffy and itchy and deplete my energy levels. Norway is experiencing a beautiful warm and sunny period at the moment, so here I am, sitting inside, instead of working in the garden, going on a hike or doing other outdoorsy stuff. One hour weeding did lead to a significant increase in symptoms, even with allergy meds, and I may have to concede that it is already too late in the year for that and wait until it starts raining or until autumn starts.

Openings and outbreaks

Norway has recently entered step 3 of its national reopening plan, but we also had the first local covid outbreak since the start of the pandemic and we have been in quarantine for a little while as the school of my youngest was also involved. Luckily, she tested negative twice, but it was a strong reminder that the pandemic is not over yet. We did get our first vaccine shots last week though. But we only planned to travel to Oslo for a short week because the kids need to reneww their passports. So I have a lot of time available for myself.

Personal time again

Now, I don’t really mind sitting inside, as I can do a lot of my hobbies and interests inside. These include faffing with my fountain pens, writing and lettering, and playing games. As I have little on my mind now (I only scan work related channels for news whether I have to help out with an activity during an international digital meeting in my holiday, which I count as hobby-related), I’m starting up my digital weeding and organizing activities again.

Right now I have to start again with learning about building a second brain and using Obsidian for that purpose. I decided to support the developers with a Catalyst payment that will also access to the private beta of the mobile app. I might be writing more later as I learn!