Adventures of a Non-Gamer: VGAs and Dishonored


by Shawnie Kelly (@DearShawnie)

Every once in a while, I’m reminded how big of a task I’ve taken on — going from zero knowledge of gaming, to regularly taking part in this strange new world of controls, and characters, and weapons. Right when I feel myself starting to get comfortable, something knocks me off my game. No pun intended.

The Video Game Awards were one such reminder. It’s a big, scary gaming world out there and I am intimidated by it. There. I admit that all of those gamers gathered in one place set off some unpleasant flashbacks.

“HIT B!!! HIT B!!!”


I didn’t let this sudden fear of being yelled at keep me from taking in all of the action though. My biggest take away from the awards? There are so many games that I’ve never heard of. Basically, I have been doing this for months and have only scratched the surface — this knowledge is both exciting and unfortunate. More to explore, and more humiliation is certainly on the way. At least I am bettering myself… that’s what learning new things does, right? Another aspect that I enjoyed about the awards were the world premieres. My favorite preview of them all was The Last of Us, because I’m a sucker for anything post-apocalyptic. The apocalypse is so romantic! Speaking of romance, my videogame crush (Master Chief, obvs.) did not win best character, which is a travesty. Haters, y’all. They’re everywhere.

While I was overwhelmed with all the VGAs had to offer, most of which I was unfamiliar with, our very own Nerd Machine was present throughout the entire show! The backstage exclusives were awesome and Zac Levi was popping up here and there throughout the show. It was like my security blanket. The Nerd Machine was all, “Calm down, Shawnie. You’re not alone.” I turned off the awards after Samuel L. Jackson referred to himself in the third person one too many times, and also so I could play one of the new games I had just heard of — Dishonored.

I’ve recently taken a break from these stealth-ish games, but getting back into the groove was fun. The first thing that caught me a little off guard by Dishonored was the setting. This was really the first time that I was playing by myself without people around, so I didn’t have anyone to ask why they were dressed in 1700s garb, yet had electricity. A little research and violá, I discovered “steampunk.” Eventually, I’m going to need someone to break this whole concept down for me, but for right now… I guess I’ll accept “a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has regained mainstream use, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power.” What up, Wikipedia?!

Back to the business. I still get a little rush of excitement when I complete a task and make it to the next checkpoint, especially when I’m flying solo. Figuring things out on my own takes approximately 300,000 times longer than it would with an official gamer by my side, but it’s more rewarding in the long run. Did you know that you can be eaten alive by rats playing this game? Probably not, because nobody reading this actually sucks enough to get down on the lower sewage levels and not know how to get back up. I appreciated the actual fear I felt when being converged on by the virtual rodents; I may or may not have squealed. I also really enjoyed the “dream” portion — a fantasy sequence where you woke in a world suspended in the air, jumping from one platform to the next. Inception! Overall, this game was really fun for a non-gamer. I guess it was semi-open world — can that be a thing? — and I like that. It isn’t too overwhelming, but also allowed for some exploring and more creative gameplay.

I’m still learning a lot, and sure, I’m still intimidated by all things gaming. But for me at least, confronting something that you’re unsure about and jumping into it headfirst is sort of the best way to get over that feeling of unease. Up close, things aren’t quite as scary as they may seem from the outside… even with people yelling at full volume in your ear.

“RELOAD!! RELOAD!! Never mind, you’re already dead.”

Happy gaming, you gamers!




  1. FranciscoDecember 12th, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Dishonered is really fun. Your series here is one of my favorite here in nerd machine, however I think that soon enough you’ll have to change the column title to “adventures of a former non-gamer”.

  2. ShawnDecember 12th, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Hey, Francisco! Still a work in progress, but I appreciate the vote of confidence 🙂 Thanks for reading.

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