Paige FTW: The Therapeutic Nature Of ‘Assassin’s Creed’

OK, so, it turns out that my triumphant return was a bit premature, as the last few weeks of rerun columns might have demonstrated to regular readers. But now I’m back (for real, I promise), and here’s what I was doing while I was out sick: playing Assassin’s Creed Origins.

Honestly, I thought I would be able to get a lot of stuff done while I was resting at home, but instead I just spent 70 hours playing this enormous game and am still very much not finished with it.

It may not have been the most productive use of time (I probably could have read quite a few more books than I have), but I found myself healing nonetheless in the arid deserts of Egypt.

When you’re feeling low or worried about what may happen to you, it helps to have something that consumes your attention … but not too much. Maneuvering Bayek around all the bandit camps in Egypt is exactly that. It achieved exactly the level of mind-numbing distraction I needed and, in some ways, continue to need as my medical saga continues. And then every now and then, you pull off some spectacular assassination of like, Julius Caesar. Nice.

I’ve spoken before about how games are sometimes too padded with just “things to do” as opposed to meaningful quests, but truthfully, it has its place. Sometimes rote tasks and clearing a map of event icons is exactly the mental therapy you need to get through a day.

The power of a video game is that it can be whatever you need it to be. Some people want every moment to be infused with role playing and meaning. You can get that. Some people just want something to do. And you can get that too.