Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne

When it comes to Dragon Age, Bioware’s fantasy RPG franchise, I’m a bit, well…obsessed. I’m late to the fandom, having only started playing the games about 8 months ago, but I have immersed myself in the world Bioware has created. Thedas is full of political intrigue, religious conflict, thrilling battles, and steamy romance. I’ve gone on to spend hundreds (I’m not even exaggerating) of hours playing the three Dragon Age games available. Thankfully the canon consists of more than simply the video games. The creators have published novels, comic books, and even some movies.

Today I want to look at the novels.  So far five have been published, three of which are written by David Gaider, one of the lead developers for the franchise. I’ve only finished the first two, The Stolen Throne and The Calling. These two books are the prequels to the first game, Dragon Age:Origins.  I got a little rambley, so we will just start with The Stolen Throne for today. Continue reading


National Video Games Day

Apparently it’s National Video Games Day. While this “holiday” is simply one of many superfluous holidays that seem to be attributed to every single day on the calendar, I thought it would be a great opportunity to finally talk about video games on this little blog of mine.

Now, many people are often surprised when I’m outed as a gamer. I guess I don’t seem the type to spend hours in front of a screen playing the life of a made-up person, creature, or robot. Honestly, I always find it surprising that others are surprised.

As a lover of stories, video games have always seemed like a natural fit for my interests. You see, I’m drawn to story-rich games, simulations, and RPGs. Unlike when reading a book where the plot is set in stone, in a game I get to interact with the story and co-create it as I play.

I know, I know–tons of people love to criticize video games. They say it’s a waste of time, that you’ll kill your brain cells, or become more violent. Well I say “bologna!” There are all sorts of studies that show that video games help hand-eye coordination, decision making skills, and creativity.

For me, gaming is also a great stress reliever. As someone who lives with mental illness everyday, it can be great to step into the shoes of someone else for a while. Or the repetitive actions of some games can be soothing. Plus, the soundtracks of video games are often specifically created to be relaxing and to help you focus (unless you’re about to face a boss, then it gets suspenseful).

But I wasn’t always comfortable acknowledging my love of video games. When I was younger I would get really nervous to go to the store and buy a game. I always felt like it was something for boys only and that I must have been a weirdo for wanting the new pokemon. Now I know that’s a ridiculous notion to hold onto. Gaming is for anyone and everyone.

So happy Video Games Day! And keep your eye out for more video-game related content on this blog of mine that refuses to follow any specific niche no matter how hard I try.