Gaming Memory: “Mass Effect” Binge Weekend

Life can get ridiculously busy. For us gamers, when we get busy with work, family, friends, and other events, gaming time is often one of the first things to go. It’s really sad.

That’s why I’ve actually started having designated gaming nights, when I tell everyone that no, I can’t come over, I can’t go to a baseball game, I can’t call them to catch up, because I’m going to be at home playing video games, and also I’m going to be Geralt of Rivia. Sometimes I look back on times when I had tons of free time with a nostalgic feeling. Those were the good old days.

One of the greatest gaming times I remember is the second time I played Mass Effect 3. I was house- and petsitting for my mom while she was away for a full weekend, Friday through Sunday. I’m pretty sure she was in Kenya at the time, but I was in another part of the galaxy as Commander Shepard. I was away from my town, away from work, away from most of the people I normally spent time with. That meant almost three full days of unadulterated time with one of my favorite video games ever.

shuttle

I was playing the game on PC for the first time, starting with a recent ME2 save. I played literally every waking hour. Even sitting at the slightly uncomfortable kitchen table, I didn’t pay much attention to my backaches. The clock didn’t matter to me except when the dogs needed to go for a walk or I realized I should probably eat something–after all, I could play while the pasta was cooking.

Staying up until the early morning hours, I knew it was time for bed when I started hallucinating insects on the walls that weren’t there. Even so, I somehow woke up at 7 AM two days in a row with tons of energy to keep playing. I wanted to continue my missions. Nothing else registered for me for over 48 blissful hours when I was a badass redhead Commander Shepard with a turian boyfriend and an obsession with Warping everything in sight.

What I remember most are some of the side missions I took on, which I had never played before. I wanted to take my time with this playthrough, and although I didn’t make it through everything, I certainly had the time to try some new quests. Knowing my time wouldn’t be interrupted made the experience so enjoyable. I totally immersed myself.

shepard dream

I’m not saying I would want to do that every weekend, but it can be almost therapeutic to escape your problems and the rest of the world for an extended period of time like that and just game. It was my version of a meditative retreat. I like to think it was even more fun.

Part of the reason I was replaying ME2 and 3 on PC was to easily capture screenshots of all my adventures (and Garrus, obviously). Here’s a few. All the memories…

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— Ashley

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