So, I'm playing this video game. And I'm unreasonably angry about the graphics. It's a problem.
I played the first game in the series, Dark Souls, and it was amazing and glorious and had great graphics and satisfied my need to escape from my humdrum existence and feel special and in control and a bad ass. But the sequel, Dark Souls II, while still fun to play, looks like donkey shit a lot of the times. I mean, look at it. Repeated textures, bad lighting, bad textures, simplistic levels. And it all makes me SIGH and HUFF and GROAN and be INDIGNANT because how DARE they!
I may or may not have a video game addiction. It's unclear. I've been playing since I was a kid, stealing time on my brother's NES to fart on turtles and eat weird-ass mushroooms and perpetuate the misogynistic concept of princess-saving. I evolved into a PC gamer, playing early CD-ROM games that took up a jaw-dropping 50MB of space. Now, at 31 years young, I'm an Xbox fiend, usually playing RPGs that allow me to customize female characters that I name middle-aged-mom names like Sheila and Brenda and Judith Light. Thankfully, my boyfriend loves to work late into the evening, allowing me ample time to sit on the couch and take my cleric Carla around a haunted castle and fire-mace the shit out of some skeletons.
I fell into video games, I think, to stop being me for awhile. To avoid some obvious truths and to be in a place where I was a hero, where I was extraordinary, and where I was strong. Nowadays, even though I'm clearly out and clearly an adult, I still yearn for that childish feeling of being a monster-slaying hero, a highly important, lone ranger that the world revolves around. Also, a world where my day-to-day anxiety doesn't exist.
So maybe I've reached a diva level with my demand for satisfactory graphics. Is it that much to ask that designers create more that three square feet of wall texture and not repeat it 60,000 times in one room? If I'm going balls deep in this fantasy world for three hours on a Saturday morning (or Tuesday evening, or Sunday afternoon, or Thursday or Wednesday or Monday or Friday or Saturday evening) at least make it feel fleshy and realistic so I can properly get off.
Dark Souls II, I love you and I hate you. Your graphics mostly suck. But your ability to make my brain stop generating seven megatons of anxiety chemicals because I have a writing deadline or maybe accidentally insulted someone on the Red Line and that clearly makes me a horrible person forever is truly magical.
Dark Souls II, I wish you were more like the original Dark Souls.
I wish I was more like Dan Savage, or an early 1990s Michelle Pfeiffer.
But we are what we are. I'm a grown man who still loves to play pretend. And god damnit, I like my pretend to have nice graphics.