My morning is typical.
I awake from sleep believing the door bell just rang so I walk down the stairs, fighting and wrestling myself into some clothes, and find out I'm having one of these lucid dreams again.
They're becoming pretty frequent.
As I'm downstairs anyway I settle down with a cup of coffee and the morning papers.
I converse with myself as I go through the headlines that grab my attention and I'm somewhat sad at their level of importance, or lack off, when I flip the last page.
Walking over to the garden door I drag away the curtains and spot a fat cat, it's black and white and stares at me with the most wicked grin I ever saw.
Is this my chess shire cat? Will I follow it into my own realm of madness?
I intend to find out, unlock the door and open it wide, another flash of gray and black shoots past me and it is then I realize my own kitten has also taken note of the intruder.
I watch and sigh as the giant black and white cat is intimidated by the presence and fanatical hissing of my little kitten (she's barely a year and she owns the neighborhood), my dreams of a Wonderland disappear as the beast turns tail and disappears through the hedge.
My kitten looks up, zigzags through my legs and lets out a approving meow.
If she only knew what she just cost me.
With broken expectations I climb the stairs up again, having entrusted the protection of the garden realm to my fierce kitten, and go enter my room but not before stopping by the bathroom.
The mirror shows me, still me, and I try to brush my annoying curls into submission.
A mission doomed to fail I realize after minutes and I give up, irritated by my hair's reluctance to be tamed.
The computer is already softly snoring and beeping, I seem to automatically press the 'On' button with my toes every time I wake, and I pull up my chair to check the morning gaming news.
Another conversation with myself occurs and after discussing the future of some of my most beloved franchises I must note, with some disdain, that my inner self is much less of a cynic than I am.
I'd call it disappointed though, I'm way too done with this generation and the thought is confirmed when I glance at the Xbox360 joystick plugged into the USB port of my computer.
Where I once would never have associated a controller with a pc it seems the fact is that my recently purchased controller has not been used once on the console it owes its name to.
I sigh, nothing seems to make sense anymore as I wait for my favorite games to be remade or continued.
Remembering what started my gaming drive is easy, the entry barrier was much smaller back then and a lot of households dabbled in home consoles ranging from MSX to Snes, but trying to remember why I'm still gaming right now is a whole other matter.
I want to be blown away and I have been, The Witcher 2 made damn sure of that, but back then every game seemed to be a unique experience.
Sequels were highly anticipated and played with renewed fervor but I can't seem to muster that same kind of enthusiasm anymore for most titles.
"Exceptions, there are." Said Yoda in my head and I must agree, I won't speak against that.
For me this generation started when my little brother bought a Xbox360 at launch and convinced his sister, the fanatical Nintendo fangirl, to try out two games on it.
Saint's Row was a lot of fun and I remember with a smile how I made a typical trailer trash kind of guy, complete with beer gut, mullet and only a pair of jeans on his body, armed him with a shotgun and had loads of fun doing just about nothing.
(Saint's Row is now one of my favorite franchises, just so you know)
It was just another San Andreas though I told him, wrongly so but I would not learn that until later, and asked him to boot up the second game.
I waited for the intro and company logo's to finish and I felt a longing to return to my own room and play my beloved gamecube, Phantasy Star Online was waiting for me to three hit my way into a finger injury with its infuriating yet so satisfying gameplay that promised the prize of rare and powerful weapons, but I stayed put and I'm glad I did.
The Elder Scrolls? Oblivion? I remember playing a Morrowind of some sorts and enjoying it, but not its extensive load screens, so I focus on the screen a little more in a effort to understand the game.
It is not until I find myself wielding a sword, faced against a giant rat, that I understand what the power of this generation is.
I sweep at the beast and blood flies everywhere, as did pieces of the rat as it crashed into a wall.
Stepping into the dark hallways my finger slips when another rat scurries towards me in the dark and my character fires a breath taking fireball.
Engulfing the room in its fiery glow as it crashes into the rat as it tried to lunge towards me.
I smile, remembering the slaughter that sucked me into the next generation and made me buy my first non Nintendo console, but as I sit behind my pc I contemplate how fast this generation seemed to go.
The Xbox360 launched in 2005, meaning we're up to seven years of this current generation, and I'm starting to doubt if we ever reach the next level.
I remember this year's E3 with a sour face and quickly click open my Steam library.
Even with 87 games in my library I can't muster the will to play any of them right now.
There's games that I want to replay (Witcher 2) but the memory is still too fresh and there's games I can't play because I don't feel like getting sucked in for another week or two (The Darkness 2).
Besides that there's games that have amazing ideas but seriously lack in story, gameplay or other departments so I decide not to boot up Renegade Ops or Duke Nukem Forever and close Steam again.
Sitting behind my desk I wonder where my will to game went, my only longings right now being a round of Defense of the Ancients 2 or doing a quick skirmish in Lord of the Rings Online.
Am I spoiled? Are we all? Yes, I think we are.
I love high quality games, like The Witcher 2 recently, but it does seem to totally kill my enthusiasm for anything lesser.
I appreciate the games, for sure, but after seeing Lord of the Rings you just won't settle for Eragon.
After being drowned in the worlds of Batman Arkham City, The Witcher 2 and Metro 2033 I feel a emptiness when I start up a game like Frozen Synapse or Magicka.
Somehow their concepts and worlds don't seem to pull me in anymore and their selling point, the gameplay, loses its charm way quicker than it should have.
Perhaps I'm just getting older, growing up in a way, and I confess I have enough to do on a daily basis that I should still cut down on the time I spend gaming or on gaming forums.
That's silly to think though, what with laptops and smart phones allowing you access to such things on the strangest of places and moments.
I think there's nothing to do but to wait and eventually buy another game that enthralls me completely.
My mind shoots to The Legend of Zelda, both A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time, a game series that has a deep personal meaning to me and is one of the few games that stand for huge points in my life.
A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time meant a new world to me, a new experience and a new boundary broken.
It was a feeling so complete I would not experience it until many years later when I played Mass Effect 1.
The thought of the space epic makes me think of myself.
I have two tattoos for my favorite games, I have a Triforce on my left shoulder blade/upper back and the N7 logo on my right upper arm.
I've been wondering at times if I did not make a wrong choice in getting these but I remember fondly how Zelda is my link to my deceased mother and how Mass Effect 1 showed me the galaxy and the power of storytelling.
Regret is not applicable here.
Sighing heavily I feel kind of relieved being able to think all of this through and my other, somewhat annoying, side has seemingly retreated into its cave of despair and angst.
I reach for my cell phone and dial a number from the list, while opening a browser on my pc with my other hand.
Just as the phone gets answered I press enter on my search query.
The conversation is brief but productive and I have made an appointment with the tattoo artist to discuss a new design when I put the phone down a minute later.
Games are a part of me, of who I am, and I am proud for that fact.
I never wanted a tattoo but these two, soon to be three, have been such inspirations and eye openers to me that I found that this was my way to show off that appreciation.
As I browse art work and designs for Geralt of Rivia's Witcher's medallion I drift off thinking where the tattoo should be set and I realize just how much I love the Witcher's universe.
Without extensive explaining I'll just say I had a blast playing The Witcher 1 but playing The Witcher 2 just recently was amazing.
I'm a Nintendo fan girl, I love Zelda and I adore Mass Effect, but The Witcher 2 has knocked them off their thrones and taken first place.
Its world was alive, vibrant and while still bound to the limitations of the hardware and engine it was amazing to behold.
Seeing that level of perfection achieved was hard to swallow when you think of other games that struggle to be mediocre.
I make it a point to enjoy videogames and appreciate their being nonetheless, even if I can't stand the game or lost interest.
The gaming world can be a happier place when we put more faith in new plans or extensive sequels to existing franchises.
I'm not the one who gets to judge if there's room for another shooter on the modern war market, nor am I the one who gets to tell developers that "GODDAMNIT STOP MAKING MMO'S OUT OF MY BELOVED FRANCHISES" but gosh, I kind of wish I was at times you know?
Every game ends though, even the ones without story have game over points.
Win a round, lose a round, get busted by the cops or crash your car beyond repair, eventually there's going to be a spot where the game has to (re)load and that's our sign to get the fuck out before we are swallowed anew.
Just one level, just one dungeon, just one more round.
Where games seem to end my mind continues and it is not uncommon for me to scour every piece of information behind a game's universe.
That's just me though, I have learned that when games (or books or series) end, I have the power to continue on.
I can sit down and write that fan fiction, continue that unexplored side story or better yet, come up with my own world.
And I did, oh how I did.
But that's a story for another time, as I hear my kitten outside hissing and screeching as if she's imitating the Balrog in the Mines of Moria.
Believe in yourself people, believe in your choices and never doubt your own creativity.
These games we adore were made by people too, they're not gods or such, they're as flawed as you and me.
And one day soon, all of you will find their passion and wrest it into submission so we can create what others don't.
Too long didn't read version: