So, I seduced my son’s wife the other day…and then he tried to have me assassinated.
Umm…okay, so I should probably explain that…
I am, as I’ve mentioned before — and to go with my other forms of nerdism — a video game nerd. More than that, I’m a nerd for RPGs and strategy games. And when those two genres get together and have a love-child? Oh, hell yeah…sign me up.
That love-child, by the way, is a game called “Crusader Kings II” from Paradox Interactive.
For the uninitiated, that particular game is a “historical simulator” set in the Middle Ages. Unlike Paradox’s other games, it is not focused so much on being the “power” behind a country, but rather on playing a character within that country’s ruling dynasty. And that’s what makes it fun as hell.
Oh, sure, you can play it like a war game and just try to “paint the map” with your colors…but that gets old after a few hours. Folks who have played more hours than those few? Folks like me who have…umm…well…ahh…let’s just say “over a thousand” and leave it at that, shall we?
Us addicts, we need something else. So we roleplay. We roleplay the shit out of the game. Is your ruler a dwarf with a high Intrigue score and traits like “wroth”, “drunkard” and “lazy”? Holy crap, you just got Tyrion Lannister as your character…you damn well better go nuts with it!
Is your eldest son a bumbling idiot, but his younger brother militarily brilliant? Time for a little meeting with your friendly neighborhood assassin…
Is you current ruler a genius, and your uncle married to another genius? Yep, it’s time for some flowers and a bit of sneaking through the halls at night — eugenics for the win!
And, yes, this stinking game WILL make you do the worst, most reprehensible and just-plain-evil things you can imagine…and you’ll laugh your ass off while you do it. Just give the game’s Reddit page a visit to see what I’m talking about…
I’m not nuts…honestly.
But the consequence-less actions of the game DO have some benefits…benefits beyond just appointing your horse to be England’s Chancellor, I mean. There is (almost) nothing in the game that doesn’t have a parallel in history. Even better, there is (almost) nothing in it that does not help to spur some thoughts about characters and plots and events for a story…crap, GRRM’s Westeros has got nothing on CKII.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, my 11 year-old nephew is the King of England and I kinda want his throne…time to go all Richard III!