It's been quiet on here because I haven't been playing much, and as a consequence I haven't had a lot to say about my limited play time. On the plus side for me, this means that I've had time to do other things that I hadn't done in a while, such as play a single-player game, in this case Dragon Age II.
Without going into too much detail about it, I can say that I really enjoyed it. I was a bit wary of it at first because it had received some very mixed user reviews, but my worries were completely unfounded. I had a blast. I stayed up late several nights in a row just to play that little bit further. And when I finally completed it, I was happy to simply watch the credits roll by for a good ten minutes or so, just to allow the whole experience to sink in.
Even after I had finished my first playthrough, I still wasn't done. There were alternate progression paths to be explored! But more than anything, I felt an urge to connect with other people who had also enjoyed the game. I talked to friends who had played it, read reviews and sought out a bunch of forum threads that were discussing various aspects of the game. This was enjoyable for a while, but oddly enough it also diminished my desire to actually play again somewhat. I wanted to share my enthusiasm, but playing the game again effectively meant isolating myself.
At the end of the day, I can talk to other players about how they played the game all day long, but I can never actually meet their characters. We all play in our own little bubble worlds, and we can talk about how much fun it is but we can never actually interact while playing. And it's kind of scary just how much I miss the ability to share space.
Back before I got into WoW, The Sims 2 was my game of choice. I spent hours upon hours breeding funny-looking Sims, taking screenshots and making up stories. I was also a member of various communities and took part in a vivid exchange of ideas and information there. It was all I could have wanted from a game.
But then I started to play WoW and... in principle playing with my Sims was still as good as before, but I just could not stand playing completely on my own anymore, having to wait for the interaction to happen afterwards and on forums. In Dragon Age II I could briefly overcome this problem because I managed to really immerse myself in the story and wanted to see where it was going, no matter what. However, now that I know the ending I'm really longing for company again.
It's a bit of a shame because intellectually, I'm aware that single-player games can still offer great entertainment. And I would kind of like to play around with different settings and options. After having spent so much time playing an MMO however, the experience of just doing my own thing in my own lonely little world just feels a bit hollow these days.