The past weeks have been devilishly entertaining as Blizzard rolled out major portions of the long-expected Diablo 4 for public feedback. Although I didn’t participate in either of the beta weekends, it’s been quite enjoyable to soak up the buzz about the upcoming game and watch how the player base reacted to the content.
Over on Discord, it was interesting to watch the Blizzard Watch staff encounter the game and wrap their minds around the puzzle box of new lore. After drinking from that particular firehose, I could probably fake my way through a conversation on the lore and game design choices pretty convincingly. It was entertaining, illuminating, and the Butcher sounds just plain terrifying.
I love reading about games even if I don’t play them. Good, thoughtful criticism and deep dives into how game mechanics translate into an enjoyable player experience push my ludophile buttons. It’s part of a broader pattern of my enjoying certain games and media properties more as an onlooker than by engaging them directly.
The Walking Dead comic book proved a little too gratuitously grotesque to fully dive into after reading the first trade paperback collection, but I couldn’t help but read synopses of new issues with something approaching horrified fascination. I also didn’t keep up with Game of Thrones with real-time viewing but faithfully checked in after every episode to read the plot summaries and enjoy the fan-ish reactions of the crowd. When it comes to Vox Machina, I’ve not felt compelled to wade through the source Critical Role campaign despite enjoying the show. That doesn’t stop me from avidly binging on the campaign histories of the characters through some handy wikis, though.
So, how about you? What games or other entertainment do you enjoy vicariously? Is there something that you don’t necessarily engage directly but are interested enough in to keep up with? Let us know in the comments.
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