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Day 12: Favourite location

IMG_3390lrThis one is fairly easy. I like outdoor role-playing activities, and this seems to put me at odds with a lot of the mainstream. For me, the ‘getting there’ is not only just as important as the dungeon at the end. I actually find it more interesting.

A dungeon is just a set of rooms with monsters and crap in them. It can be a building or a temple or a cave or whatever, but basically it represents a constrained set of choices: sneak, attack, search, pick up stuff. Whereas in the outdoors there are a far greater ranges of possible decisions to a myriad of possible environmental conditions and events.

For this reason the very best of what computer gaming can offer in terms of ‘role playing games’ such as Oblivion and Skyrim are at their best in constrained environments like dungeons and arenas. Move the action outside and it’s attractive, but basically just driving down the highway to the next adventure park.

Swamps: love em. Full of creepy crawlies. Mountains: full of cold and sharp stones and no where to cook. By the river: a place to fish. And so on.

Love it.

I recall the time when I was on the run from the law, having managed to get out of the van/wagon that was carrying me to I cannot remember where. Probably the gallows. Anyway, I dropped out onto a forest path. Braving the unknown I cut deep into the forest and then exited the other side in a short time to find a wide riverbed. With little equipment, lost, and clearly in an uninhabited wilderness I had to make camp for the night. Making and setting snares for rabbits. Gathering wild onions. Collecting firewood and getting a fire lit. And then I sat there alone in the light of my lonely fire watching the stars.

I appreciate that many people would find this a pointless and boring role-playing experience. No monsters to fight. No treasure to be awarded. There were no boxes to tick off on a character sheet, no numbers to tally, no experience points gained for just surviving. In fact, no external cues at all that his life was on track. It was up to my character alone to judge his happiness. And in his freedom and solitude he was as happy as a pig in shit.

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