Adventures of a Non-Gamer: Round Deux


by Shawnie Kelly (@DearShawnie)

Update! My first gaming experience was less than ideal, but perseverance is key. My third grade teacher taught me that, guys. Just kidding. The only thing I remember from grade school is stop, drop, and roll. I’m totally prepared for catching on fire, which is probably going to be useful at some apocalyptic point.

I have continued my gaming journey despite the fact that I still find myself thoroughly lacking any sort of talent or promise. Logistics! Who needs ’em? Not this girl. Splinter Cell: Conviction is proving to be one of the most fun things ever. You’d be surprised how fast you can complete a level when you’ve had to restart that level roughly fifty-one times. So, in an ironic plot twist… dying has actually been super beneficial. Jordan and Peter — my somewhat hesitant little bros that I’ve forced into being my gaming coaches — have been more patient with me as of late. And by that I mean, I haven’t cried in five days due to verbal gaming abuse. We’re all growing. I’m about halfway through Splinter Cell which is more than we all thought possible. But it’s time for some variety. It’s time for Skyrim.

I had no idea what this was. Does it involve skydiving? Some kind of fun extreme-sport adventure? I was so wrong.

Holy “open world” Batman! First of all, this open world concept kind of blew my mind. You’re telling me I can just run around and literally do anything I want? I can just take this apple? But I don’t have any money for the apple. I can steal the apple? Take a dip in the never-ending ocean? Climb mountains and look out over the entire universe? Brain explosion. Basically if I didn’t want to encounter any quest action, I could just live in the forest, fend off the occasional bear, and maybe invite some townspeople over to my cave for dinner parties from time to time. I would have my cave beautifully decorated because I can take anything I want from anywhere!

Though tempting, I might get bored with that method of gameplay. I found Skyrim a little overwhelming simply because I like to have detailed instructions on what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. I felt like I was just sort of winging it. Also, I wasn’t able to kill the first dragon (which Jordan tried to explain, but it was two in the morning and I was 90% asleep) so I was just running away the whole time.

One aspect I did enjoy? Designing my own player! I chose to be a Nord, because let’s face it they’re the cutest. If I can design every aspect of my virtual self, you best believe I’m not going to be one of those unfortunate looking lizard creatures. High cheekbones? Check. Awesome Braveheart inspired war paint? Check. I named my girl Polly Pocket. Because I can. Another great feature — the magical arrow pointing you in the right direction the entire time. Can homegirl get a real life version of this? You might suggest that GPS or street signs fill this role, but the truly directionally challenged would like the arrow. GIVE US THE ARROW! No worries. I’m starting a petition. Look out, Capitol Hill.

Lastly, I noticed that I was having trouble identifying who I supposed to kill.

“RIGHT TRIGGER! RIGHT TRIGGER!!” This is Peter’s new favorite thing to yell during moments of utter confusion and terror.

You would think a grown woman would know the difference between right and left at this point, but in high-stress gaming situations my fingers just start pressing any combination of random buttons in hopes of a lucky strike.

“DON’T KILL HIM! HE’S YOUR GUIDE!!” This is his other favorite.

How am I supposed to tell the difference? Sure, he’s been running around with me the whole time, but dudes are looking so similar in this game. He should be wearing neon vest or something. Were neon colors invented yet in the year 4th Era 182? I’ll have to check the history books.

I shall leave you with my favorite Skyrim takeaway. Clicking on my “inventory” was kind of like shopping.

“Okay, you have four pairs of fur boots. Leave three behind.” Jordan said with disgust.

Excuse me?! I can’t just throw away boots. It goes against everything I stand for. A girl never knows when she’s going to need an extra pair (or three). I haven’t told them about my plans for a shopping trip to the Imperial City. Shh, let’s not talk about it. I’m thinking this little gaming newbie might fly the coop soon and embark on a solo mission, sans coaches. It’s a big scary gaming world out there and they obviously don’t think I’m ready. But, sometimes learning to swim means drowning first. That’s a saying, right? Either way, I’m still having a blast in all of my incompetent glory.

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