Kirsty Bosley: Frustration, swearing, rage and defeat: I'm game for it!
I pressed myself against the pillar, trying desperately to make myself invisible.
I could hear the clanking armour of my adversaries as they marched nearby, and I wondered how on earth I would make it past them all, given that I was equipped with limited ammunition. I didn't want to die – I'd come so far.
My hands began to sweat, and gripping became a problem. I wiped my slippery palms on my trousers and took a deep breath. Looking around, I noticed a barrel of oil nearby.
Maybe if I shot that, I could create an explosion that could at least stun my opponents, if not kill them. Without trying, I'd never know. I'd just be sat here behind this wall forever and I couldn't risk that – the fate of so much relied on me succeeding.
With no time to waste, I made the decision to just give it a try. Just calm down and focus, I told myself.
This was it, I had to just poke my head above the parapet and channel my energies on shooting that barrel. If I quickly got my bow, I could set an arrow alight with some oil that I'd collected earlier and burn the other bad guys to death. Here goes. . .
Jumping up, I swiftly shoot the barrel. Boom! Two died, but the blast only alerted other enemies to my whereabouts. I steadied my bow and shot arrows into the melee, it was a bad idea. Screams surrounded me, and the bullets began to fly. I'd been hit, but I was alive. Boom, boom, boom.
And then, just as I was switching to my gun, a grenade flew over the barricade. KABOOM! Everything went grey, and they knew I was hurt. Rushing in, they shot and shot until I couldn't see. I fell to the ground and they surrounded me, hammering home the final bullets.
I'd had enough. I threw the Xbox control pad on the floor and hit my hands against the rug like a kid throwing a tantrum.
I'd been playing Tomb Raider for an hour, and had come so close to completing it after three months of dipping in and out of the world inhabited by Lara Croft.
I launched expletives into the air in my frustration and left the room in a swirling whirl of fury and dressing gown.
I lay down on the bed and looked out of the window while my heartbeat returned to a normal rhythm. "You OK love?" my fiancé asked, gently.
"I'm fine," I replied, not fine. "I'm just decompressing," I admitted.
He understood. Gaming is a pretty serious business in our house. After 10 minutes of chilling out, I returned to the living room and regained my control pad and my dignity.
Over at the PC, Andrew was modifying Skyrim so that he could battle dragons in the best possible landscape. He was trying to make the grass look better, texture wise. Or something else equally nerdy.
Back on Tomb Raider, I restarted the section and killed the absolute heck out of the baddies in my first go. It was possibly the most relieved and triumphant I'd felt all week. I persevered until the end, completing the game in spectacular fashion. It felt both brilliant and sad to see it come to its final moments.
Now, I know what you're thinking: "What a loser this girl is. When she's not singing the praises of wrestling, she's having real and actual emotions brought on by video games."
But I can't help but feel like games get a terrible reputation, very unfairly. Whenever a mass murderer commits a heinous crime, his (it's often a male, weirdly) penchant for violent video games is shared by the media, almost as though it's one of the things that made him murderous. Well, that and heavy metal music – the amount of trouble Marilyn Manson got blamed for in the late 90s is unbelievable.
I just can't understand why games are trivialised so quickly. In them, I have travelled to the kinds of mystical worlds that keep people tuning into Game of Thrones every week, only I've been in control of my adventures.
I've heard stories told that far outshine those that I've read in books. Not all books (I love books), but some.
In virtual worlds I've had to use my brain to work out complex puzzles and I've had to learn, by trial and error, how to overcome difficulties. Sure, they're digital difficulties, but that doesn't mean that they don't count.
At least I can walk away from them when I want to without risk of serious consequences.
For many people, gaming is escapism. It allows you to take some time out of the problems we face in real life, and focus your brain on something else that, at the end, can be switched off and not worried about again. They're quite expensive these days, but splurging £40 on a game isn't very much when it offers hours and hours of beautiful artwork, scenery, acting and storylines.
You see, it's not all shoot-em-up violence.
After Tomb Raider, to wind down, I got a game called Firewatch. It's set in 1989, and you're a man called Henry whose wife suffers from early onset dementia. With his beloved away living with family and his life falling apart, Henry takes a job as a fire watchman in the Wyoming wilderness, with no one else around. Or so you think. His only company is a lady on the other end of the walkie talkie, supervisor Delilah.
As you mosey around the game, exploring the area and watching out for danger, you begin to realise something is going on. Missing people posters are dotted around, and two more girls just disappeared. You were the last person to see them. . .
No guns, no grenades and no wailing over people with swords – Firewatch is about storytelling, mystery and exploration. Who doesn't want that after a long day at work?
With Firewatch completed, I'm moving on to the next game on my list – Everybody's Gone to the Rapture. It's a game based in Shropshire. Everybody in the village has gone missing, and it's down to you to find out where they've gone.
Can you really think of any better way to spend a lazy evening without wine?
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