My, it’s seriiiously been a while, huh? Please forgive me, dear readers – I’d love to say I have a good reason for my temporary hiatus and I mean, I have, in a way, but it’s mainly because I was distracted. Distracted by what? Simple – the image already gives it away: video games. What I played, why I played and which complications this meant – and more – this is what I’ll be writing about today.
“You don’t play Skyrim, you live it.” – that’s a line I’ve read multiple times recently and I must admit, it’s rather true, at least for me.
As someone who loves fantasy games and who also played the prequels I got into playing Skyrim rather late though – but there’s a reason and it’s also the reason why I stopped playing the sequel Oblivion a few weeks after I bought it back then.
It’s an illness called “Motion sickness” (also known as "simulator sickness"): whenever I played
Oblivion I felt nauseous, dizzy and got a headache, often already after a few minutes or less. It saddened me, because I enjoyed the game, but I decided my health was more important so I
put the game away – and I thought it was for good. Naturally, when I heard of the fifth part of the Elder Scrolls series, Skyrim, I thought I wouldn’t be able to play it
either and didn’t buy it when it was released. It bugged me to see my brother playing it though and the internet was sprinkled allover with jokes of guys wearing odd horned helmets shouting “Fus
Ro Dah” or “I took an arrow to my knee” jokes... So I secretly longed to play it too, if only to get the jokes, but never gave it a try.
Then, a month or two ago I saw Skyrim as a part of the Steam Summer Sale – it was only a few Euro (honestly, less than five euro for the main game without the DLCs) so I thought “Why not. It’s so little money, if I can’t play it, it’s not the end of the world.” And as you can imagine, motion sickness struck again immediately – especially the first person perspective is a big problem for me, but...I persisted. I immediately fell in love with the new, vast realm to explore. So despite getting sick often, I kept playing and soon I became a member of the companions and joined the Stormcloaks later on. (Long live the Stormcloaks!!! XD Down with the nasty empire!! *laughs*) At that point I couldn’t fathom however how much this game was going to mean for me – and that it would make me re-play the games I abandoned so many years ago.
In real life things didn’t go so well. Although I finished school successfully during those days and my final exams went very well (and I’m officially a GTA – "Gestaltungstechnischer Assistent” now – a design assistant, I guess you could also simply call it media designer), the application I talked about last time wasn’t as successful.
See, my application got rejected by the university... It dragged me down quite a bit, because studying game design had been kind of a dream for me and it also left me in doubt of my own skills. I couldn’t draw anymore, nor could I write, I couldn’t do anything anymore but staring at my ceiling and fearing the future. To be honest, I failed like a failure...
So when I played Skyrim and began as a nobody, but soon became a hero, general of the Stormcloaks, the herold of the companions, an archmage, the leader of the thieves guild – and even
got married! (To Farkas >///> He sure is cute.) It just... It was wonderful. Although I know it’s just a game, it felt so incredible to actually be successful for once – at least in the
world of Skyrim I wasn’t a failure, but I was someone the people knew and looked up to.
Soon I also got the DLCs and my love for the games grew even more. Travelling to Solstheim actually felt like “coming home” because not only did I play a Dunmer, a dark elf (I aaaaalways play those, I <3 them, plus I love recreating my character Vyon, although I play his sister Yraloin in Skyrim because it was difficult to make a pretty male Dunmer there >_>; ) so going to Morrowind was the same as going to her home, but it also woke nostalgic feelings in my heart. Everything, the music, the people, the sceneries...It simply reminded me of the good times when I played Morrowind so many years ago and I wanted to do so again – to see the places I used to roam, to meet the people I knew. Luckily I quickly got hold of the discs and was able to install the game again and it didn’t take long until I also bought Oblivion once more, this time for the PC (because at the moment I lack a PS3 to play my version >_>). Ever since then I was literally bound to my laptop, spent every free minute I had playing and kind of “lived” another life.
Still, even in midst of gaming, part of me knows, it won’t last forever, yet I still believe every minute I spend in Tamriel is a minute well spent.
I know there’s so much I have to worry about in fact – I know I need to do something in real life, I know I can’t remain at home, playing video games forever, I’m 24 and I’m not getting any younger, nor are my parents, but... With a life lacking any possible perspectives at the moment, I try to enjoy the time at hand.
I will admit, I have trouble finding my way in real life at the moment – I don’t know what to do, am scared of the future and wish a miracle would happen so I could become an illustrator after all, as I always dreamed I would... But I know as well that miracles rarely ever happen on their own, that it’s people who need to create their own miracles. Unfortunately I never learned how that works – they certainly didn’t teach that in school, or I was sick the day they taught that.
Oh, and regarding school: I thought I would be relieved once school ended – I will be honest now that it’s over, I didn’t feel well there, felt like I was throwing away my life, because media design – designing logos, CIs and advertisements – was never what I wanted to do. If that school taught me anything, it’s that I don’t want to ever do this job again. But yeah, now that it’s over, I’m not relieved, but terrified. I’m back to where I started from two years ago when I left my last school, back at the same point where my parents ask me “What now?” and I lack the answer. I don’t want to work – or no, let me rephrase that, I DO want to work, I want to make a living, I want to have money to support myself and to be independent. I want to be able to stand on my own two feet – I don’t want to be a useless person fed by the state, it’s against my pride. But the thing is, I don’t know what I can do. I can’t deal with people, I have trouble facing them, so I have to disqualify every job that contains social work or work with customers...
And I’m scared of being caught in a treadmill that drains my strength to the point that I become entirely unable to be creative. I know if this happens, if I become unable to draw and write over
a long period of time, I feel dead within. I need a job that allows me to create – one where I can draw or write to my hearts content. This is exactly why I want to become an illustrator, but I
don’t know how to achieve this. I wanted to study illustration, but I don’t know where – I live in cologne and there are no possibilities to study it nearby (correct me if I am wrong).
Becoming a concept artist by studying game design was plan B and though I certainly will apply again next year, it’s a long time until then and to be honest: I don’t even know that I will make it next year. And besides.. I can’t put all my eggs in one basket. I need to find other options – there HAS to be another option, I just can’t see it...
So you see? That’s exactly what’s been going on recently. And that’s why the line I quoted earlier could have never been more true to me: I do live Skyrim, because it’s the only place at the moment that doesn’t face me with challenges that are too difficult to overcome.