One of my favourite forms of escapism is gaming. Not just any kind. The space opera megalomania-kind, or the hero building RPG kind are definitely most fun for me. Any turn based strategy game, or an RPG stands a chance, but only the CIV series seems to stand the test of time as something worth returning to over and over again.
CIV 3 was a little dissapointing with bugs and inherited problems, but the addition of an independent plug-in called Double your pleasure took it to a new level. Some might say it transforms CIV 3 to such a degree that it becomes a different game. I am waiting for the fourth installment in the CIV series. Release date: somewhere in Quarter four. In time for Christmas, of course.
Bizarre, but true: the game Master of Orion 3 is indirectly responsible for my current relationship. Timo and I met through a group that started at the (now empty) MOO3 forums and splintered off to form their own community.
MOO3 turned out to be a total flop (deservedly so, I think. It was pretty stinky). In its place, something strikingly similar (only better!) emerged: Galactic Civilizations.
I've only just started playing GalCiv; whilst I enjoy gaming, I certainly don't have a lot of time for it as a hobby, so certain things just have to wait. Therefore I opted out of buying this title when it was released. Timo bought it as part of a special offer last week. He (very kindly) resisted the urge to hog it.
One of the biggest gaming features of both our lives has been Final Fantasy Online. It's a small wonder I've managed to stay away from MMORPGs as long as I have, but when a Final Fantasy title came into the picture - well, that was it. I had to be a part of it.
It is wonderful to see some central themes carry on through the titles. Certain pieces of music, characters and so on. And Chocobos! How could you not love a ride through a breathtaking landscape on a giant chicken?
FFXI Online has its downsides. Due to its gameplay structure, certain aspects of the game begin to resemble real life just a little too closely. Like the constant need to make money.
And when tasks in a game end up on your things-to-do list, that's just wrong. Escapism is meant to be an actual escape.