Well I won’t lie. Courtney and I haven’t been keeping up with reviews like we should because I haven’t been doing well. Being a disabled, Deaf, immigrant, Muslim woman living here has finally worn me down into having some “why even bother?” pity parties. Being the mother of a Black son who I’m eventually going to have to tell, probably sooner rather than later, that to many in this country, he is always going to be wrong no matter what he does (protest things, not protest things, have opinions on things…) because of his skin color, given the reactions I’ve seen from people regarding the NFL taking a knee issue, has worn me down to not even wanting to participate in the world. So I fell into a MMORPG hole. And I don’t ever want to come out.

I’ve gotten into a handful of them recently. Guild Wars 2, TERA, World of Warcraft, and most recently, Secret World Legends. I’ve never been big on PC games mostly because sitting at my laptop is uncomfortable, but I’ve got to say, I am HOOKED on these ones, especially Guild Wars 2.

They’re all great games with good storylines, interesting characters, and a wide range of character customization. Guild Wars 2 blew me away with its customization options. The range of skin colors and hair choices, for the first time in ANY game, let me show my son that he could really make himself in a game (And can I say how nice it is that not only is there a wide range of natural hairstyles available, but they actually don’t look like shit. It’s almost as though they took the time to thoughtfully create a diverse set of options because representation was important to them, as opposed to just throwing in some braids and an afro to fill their diversity quota. Imagine that!)

Anyway, the common thread in all these games that’s gotten me hooked is that for the most part, you’re participating in the world in order to make it better. You’re saving the world from evil monsters, bad people, and just generally fighting your way across the worlds for good. Guild Wars 2 takes that positivity even further and gives you quests for the sole purpose of helping the residents of that area. You tend farms, you save orphans, you help Victor here get eggs so he can cook again. And you can play with wolf pups and snow leopard cubs, dance for cows to entertain them, and tame new animal friends to take along on your adventures.

It’s also nice that in many of these games, you can take a break from the fighting, and just go wandering to discover new places, you can perfect your cooking and gathering skills, you can take the time to craft a bunch of stuff and sell it in the market and make a bunch of money. The draw for me here is that I can live my mundane little life in these worlds without being bombarded by constant negative crap AND I can actually see the results of my good actions helping people, which is a welcome change to the constant feeling of “why even bother?”

An added amusement for me is the ridiculousness of the armor my female characters sometimes wear. Particularly in TERA. It always seems so absurd that the higher level your armor is, the more skimpy it is as well. Like my girl in the above image. How does that help? What protection could leather armor that doesn’t even cover half your chest provide? And yes, I know, many people take issue with this sort of thing being added to the female characters in games, but I’m not one of them because I really think it’s hilarious and I have bigger issues to deal with than what my lady Brawler is wearing. I gladly welcome the stupid-funny moment each time I get a new set of armor.

Lastly, it’s nice to be able to jump into a game and team up with genuinely nice strangers to take on a group challenge or huge world boss. That’s not something you find very often (not something I’ve found lately anyway) in dealing with random strangers in the real world. Being new to all of these games and having had countless veteran players offer to be my game guide has been refreshing, so if you too need a reminder that not everything is awful, maybe check out one of these.

Before I get too far off the rails, my point in this post was just to update. I’ve got a few reviews I’m working on (console games have been incredibly disappointing the last couple weeks, so I’m not feeling the motivation, to be honest) and hope to have the review for either Cuphead or Forza 7 up by the end of this weekend.