Rapture, I dig you.
Rapture’s a pretty great place. I mean, minus the splicers, big sisters, little sisters, big daddies, bombs, traps, and blood covered walls. Also, the living on the sea bed thing.
(In an early journal you find in Bioshock 2, Andrew Ryan reports:
I am told that the people grow tense and isolated in the absence of the sun.
Who can blame them, right?)
And there’s a level of willing suspension of disbelief that goes on as well, because I’m no scientist but I’m FAIRLY sure that if you live on the bottom of the ocean in a glass and metal structure and a leak springs somewhere, the pressure imbalance would cause a whole lotta damage, right? The pressure must be unbelievable anyway, although I can’t remember how far down Rapture is — at the start of Bioshock you do see a meter count as you descent but it’s all a blur, overwritten by my first meeting with Atlas
But anyway I’m wandering away from my central point, which is Rapture is beautiful. Even through all the decay, you can see the bones of a really beautiful city — of busy and crowded walkways, and charming stores and diners and clubs bursting with music and revelry. I mean, charming might be a stretch because even in its heyday it was a fairly dangerous city filled with death, but. And it’s packed to the gills with story. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a completionist, which means I will explore every doorway, every alley. And that way I get to listen to more journals — listen to Lamb slowly losing her goddamn mind or Ryan being an enormous hypocrite (freedom’s all well and good until it threatens his vision).
It’s a “pick away at this” game, which Half Life 2 was for me as well. I don’t feel any urgency to finish it except inasmuch as I want to know what happens to Subject Delta and his little girl. I play a couple of hours here or there and so every time I come back I’m startled all over again at how hard it is for me to switch ammo on the fly or to remain calm when I hear a mob of splicers coming but can’t figure out where they are coming from.
I used to feel bad about this, tell myself its clear I’m not a natural gamer, but then I remember I don’t have the background in these games that most of my friends do. I didn’t grow up playing Counter Strike or Halo or … I grew up with Zelda and Mario and sidescrollers and so on. It’s the same thing with Hearthstone — I never played Magic or any of its clones, so these games are baffling to me. Plus the more videos I watch of OTHER people playing games, the more I realize that most people have a learning curve in most games. I vaguely remember reading something recently about the way that gaming set people up to accept failing better — that gamers expect to die and to have to try again and that’s just part of the process, making them more determined and more realistic about success in real life.
This morning, as I was fighting off my normal case of the morning grumps and trudging into the office, I realized that I could hear SPRING BIRDS and that the SUN was out and ok it was freezing but you can feel the sun is stronger and oh god spring is actually going to happen soon.