Comfort Gaming

Tamiflu Chasers

Over the last several days I have talked about my own respiratory misery.  My focus over this time had been on somehow surviving through to Friday and not making a complete and total ass of myself during my presentation.  It seems that I was at least somewhat successful in that mission, however during all of this time I seem to have neglected the fact that my wife had been getting progressively worse.  It reached a head last night when at bedtime she was running a 101* temperature.  This morning she teetered back and forth on whether or not we should go to urgent care.

For those not familiar with the absolutely fucked up medical system here in the United States… Urgent Care is this weird beast that sits somewhere between your doctors office and the actual emergency room.  The idea is to create a construct that allows you to get after hours emergency style treatment for non-life-threatening ailments.  In the master plan the insurance providers tend to treat these like doctors office visits, and as such you only have to pay one neat co-pay.  The problem is… they are insanely deluged with patients.  Our local Urgent Care place opens at 9 am on Saturday, and we were there mere moments after opening… and the waiting room was already completely filled.

I dropped my wife off at her suggestion, and ran around running errands in the meantime.  We are both a bit concerned that I will catch something since firstly… I was born with a naturally weakened immune system, and secondly… that my lungs are already in a pretty severely compromised state.  I felt like an ass for her waiting alone, but she and I texted back and forth throughout the morning.  At roughly 10:30 I picked her up and she was brandishing a prescription for tamiflu.  She was in fact diagnosed with the real life full blown Flu, and unfortunately despite my yearly flu shot this puts me in a pretty bad place for likely catching it from her.

As a result I am in the process this morning of trying to get ahold of my own primary care physician to attempt to procure a preventative prescription for tamiflu as well.  Needless to say my morning did not go anywhere near planned and as a result I am finally sitting down to write a blog post.  With all the excitement I don’t really have a whole lot to say.  Or at least nothing more exciting than what has already transpired.

Comfort Gaming

WoWScrnShot_011014_224900

One of the best things I have discovered in the past year is the Alternative Chat podcast.  If you are not in fact already an avid listener you should make steps to rectify that.  In the latest episode the Godmother of Faff mentions a term that is so uniquely perfect, that I am shocked I had never heard it used before now.  “Comfort Gaming” is a concept that is very near and dear to my heart, but I never really had an adequate term for it.  There are so many gaming experiences that I can return to time and time again when I am in the need of some solace.  Here in Oklahoma we are big on “comfort food” with our heaping piles of mashed potatoes and white gravy and our chicken fried steak.  This same concept applied to gaming also makes sense.

I guess in a way WoW is my comfort gaming.  I spent so much time trying to move past the game, but in fighting it I was denying the fact that I really did enjoy it and the people who play it.  Sure there are so many games out there that do one thing or another so much better than the World of Warcraft.  Games like Rift are pinnacles of technical brilliance with their deep systems within systems.  However something just gets lost in the translation at times, and in all of my years of wandering between games I have found another game that fullfilled so many of the little high points I have looked for in a single package.  Playing wow, questing, farming, exploring, collecting transmoggy bits, soloing old world content… all feels comfy.

Crawling back into the game this time was like breaking out that worn out pair of jeans that just feels amazing.  There is nothing new under the sun in wow, and it is not exactly a pinnacle of innovation…  but what you have here is a really great mix of fun ways to spend your time.  I created my WoW Bucket list as a way to have something to fall back on when I got bored.  Thing is with the great number of people I have assembled in my guild… I have yet to really get bored enough to search on the list for some purpose.  Purpose seems to find me constantly in either helping someone else out or getting a wild whim that I want to follow.

So as I embrace the year of faff, I am also embracing “comfort gaming”.  WoW is by no means the only comfort game I have.  I find myself able to crawl back into the Fallout or Elder Scrolls worlds and get lost for an entire afternoon at a time.  Similarly I am deeply looking forward to the release of Elder Scrolls Online… because that universe is one I supremely love.  However saying that, I have no real intent to abandon the World of Warcraft.  It scratches an itch for me, and in part is that way because of the amazing people that are playing it.  While I could never play a game only for the people… the mixture of absolute fun activities and amazing folks makes the game as sticky as ever for me.