My friend Paul hosts an internet radio show. I’m not sure how this happened, but every week I record a 500-word piece for his show, based on whatever's on my mind. I enjoy this, but while Sam has been looking for something to do he has stood in for me on a couple of occasions. It means he gets to write (no fee, but a bit of exposure) and I get a week off. He has a completely different style from me, but the listeners seem to like us both equally, which is nice.
Last week Sam spoke about the new Play Station game, Skyrim. Now, games consoles aren’t my kind of thing at all (Wii Fit, notwithstanding), but I gave it my best shot. Sam showed me the basics and got me playing as an Argonian lizard creature.
On the controller, there are two little mushrooms called, apparently, analogue sticks, to be operated one with each thumb. The right thumb allows you to turn your character’s head and the left thumb turns the body. Unfortunately I didn’t seem able to make my Argonian look left without also moving left. Nor could I get her line of sight right. So I spent the first several minutes literally banging my head against a brick wall, as, faced with the simple challenge of climbing a stone staircase, I couldn’t find my way to the first step and just kept colliding with the masonry.
With a bit of help I did eventually get going, but seemed to be either looking down at the steps or up at the ceiling. And when I did get the correct perspective and craned my/her head to the left to see what was coming, I also moved her feet, so she tumbled off the edge, again and again – and again.
Yes, the game is beautiful to look at, and I can totally see why people get hooked. But, I’ve decided, my problem is that it looks to me as though I’m standing still and the scenery is moving past me and I just can’t get over this. That and the fact that the intensity with which I was gripping the controller and the ludicrous position I had adopted – leaning forward so far and at such an angle that my nose was practically on the screen – meant that I had a searing pain between my shoulder blades.
So much for perfect yoga posture, then!