Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Heroes, Adventurers and Lackwits, Oh My!
Actually, that's not my biggest problem; I have plenty of others. I just don't feel like whining tonight, so I'm going to stay light (aka "vapid") tonight.
And, actually, even though Skyrim is a $60 game, I paid exactly $0 for it. See, with Citibank, I earn these things called "Thank You Points"... for every buck I spend using my bank card, I get a point. I've been accumulating these points for a couple years. Well, I just converted $150 worth of Thank You Points over to Amazon credit, and so BOOM, free game, plus lots left over for more Kindle Books.
Ah, livin' the dream.
But back to Skyrim for a minute... for those that don't understand the appeal of a fake life lived on a computer screen, let me (try to) explain. Picture a large (vast, really), open expanse of terrain, all mountainous and beautiful, with rocks and trees and snow and animals and villages and castles, etc. You can wander anywhere and explore anything and talk to anyone. You can go into caves and fight beasts or bandits, looking for treasure. You can fight baddies, get killed in the attempt, and then just reload the game from your previous "save point" and try again, or run away, or sneak around in the shadows. You can take on the Main Quest to save the world from peril, or you can ditch the Main Quest and do any number of other Side Quests, for little trinkets or treasures, or just out of the goodness of your heart. You can be a good guy or a bad guy. Or both. You can hike to the top of a mountain peak, stand at the very edge of a sheer cliff face, marvel at the view, save the game, and then leap off to your doom... then reload that last save game spot to the edge of the cliff again, and just walk away.
In other words, you can do all the stuff you wish you could do in real life, but can't. Shoot a bad guy with a bow and arrow? Check. Run a bad guy through with a sword, or cleave him with an axe? Check. Shoot magical fireballs or ice blasts out of your hands? Check. Pick locks and pick pockets? Check. Steal stuff and cause havoc? Check. Get arrested and then break out of jail? Check. Or be a hero of renown, winning the love and adoration of the masses? Check. Fight dragons? Check!!!!
There's just something about it that I find almost unfathomably appealing. I think in every guy (and maybe most of the women) there lives a strong desire to be courageous/heroic. To make a difference in the world. To cut loose and dive headlong into danger, knowing that if it doesn't work out, just rewind a bit and try again. To explore. To create. To love. TO LIVE.
There's probably negative theological ramifications to such an attitude, I don't know. But what I do know is that I love love love wandering around that game world, and soaking it all in. If I could somehow transfer that same awe and fascination to "real life," I'd be golden.
So speaking of heroes, I finished reading White Wolf, by David Gemmell. A story featuring two heroes, and some full-throttle villains.
If it seems pretty formulaic, that's because it is. But in this case, it didn't matter to me, because dangit, I enjoyed the ride thoroughly. Enough so that I'll soon embark on my own Impossible Quest... that of trying to read all of Gemmell's 20+ books. His characters are complex creatures, and he writes great action scenes for them. In fact, both this book and the other Gemmell book I read last year (Legend) each have many "main" characters, as opposed to just one, and in many ways, they are all unique and work well as the focus of the tale, and even better when combined with the others. If that makes sense.
I don't want to get too far into White Wolf (the book), since it doesn't really matter at this point. If fantasy does anything for you, I recommend the book. If not, then no amount of elaboration on the story will convince you otherwise. Gemmell is solid; let me leave it at that. Grab a free sample or two of his stuff and try him out yourself, eh! That's an order!
What will I read next? Well, at the moment, it's more Free Samples. When I land on a full book and it hooks me, I'll let you know.
And now, the latest Damien Walters highlight video...
Awesome. Yet another thing I wish I could do.
I think I'll bring tonight's blast of hot air to an end. If it continues, it may raise the temperature in here so high, it will activate the blog air conditioner, and I can't afford that...
Adios for now,
Dave the Gemmellite