Gaming Grandma’s happy place

In recent weeks, there’s been little news worth hearing and tv has devolved into holiday specials and reruns. The only channel I watch much anymore is the Weather Channel.

As a result, since its release on October 26, I’ve been spending a great deal of time with my newest favorite video game, Red Dead Redemption 2. It’s a huge, realistic, exquisitely detailed world, set in the fading Old West of about 1899.

Yep, for those who care at all, the Gaming Grandma is alive and well … and still gaming. And these videos will give you an idea of the country I’m roaming these days, which ranges from the arid Southwest to snow-covered mountains to the swamps of the Gulf Coast to the coal mines of the Northeast. No voiceovers here; all music and sounds are directly from the game. Skip through bits and pieces as you wish (the snowy portion at the beginning runs more than 3 minutes):

The weather in this game is amazing and includes just about everything you might imagine, depending on your location. Gentle showers, blizzards, mist and fog, dust storms, thunderstorms so realistic that I sometimes think a tornado is imminent. The wind rises, the sky darkens, the thunder cracks, and lightning splits the skies. Finally the rain comes in torrents. It’s only a game; you don’t have to run for cover. But the instinct is certainly there, as is the inclination to steer clear of tall, isolated trees when there’s lightning.

Anyway, for someone who couldn’t get enough horses and cowboys as a girl, this game is pure escapism.

Okay, time for me to saddle up and hit the trail. I’ve got miles to ride and horses to find. (There are 19 different breeds, each available in several different coats, and with accurate, distinctive breed characteristics.)

37 thoughts on “Gaming Grandma’s happy place

  1. Cool game. I thought at one point there we were going to have some squirrel road kill but no such luck. It reminds me of my Microsoft Aircraft game where you just fly from place to place, enjoy the scenery and beware of bad weather.

    You being a scenery person I can see why you like the game so much. And it’s nice to have something to occupy some of your time. Enjoy…. 🙂

    1. Oh, roadkill happens. Squirrels, rabbits, possums, skunks. If something runs directly in front of your horse, it’s likely to get trampled. Just about anything you can imagine happening in this setting can happen. Or, in a bit of karma, you might get killed by a cougar or attacked by a pack of wolves.

      1. Last week I purchased a little software program called ‘Fraps’ that allows you to record your video games as you play them or it will actally capture any video from your computer and record it. Works really well and I used it on my Zombie game but couldn’t bear to watch the Zombies get the best of me in short order. 🙂 The trial version is free but it only allows you to record 30 second increments of anything. The full version that allows you to record for as long as you want is around $37.

        1. Sounds like fun. But my game is on Xbox, which has different recording requirements. And I’ve no desire to emulate the many YouTubers and others who record and post their game playing. They always appear on camera, narrating what they are doing. I don’t play well enough to want anyone watching me, and I’m extremely camera shy. And, frankly, I’m a bit self-conscious about my “cute accent” that somebody once commented on (50 years ago!).

      1. Exactly! I’ve been a frustrated board game player for a lonnnng time. My entire immediate family hates game playing, so I may have to tip my toes into a different type of game.

        1. Board games bore me. They are too static and you need other people to play with. But my son is very much into Gloomhaven. He and several coworkers get together every couple of weeks and play for most of a day.

  2. They look like real horsemen and they’ve been superimposed over the terrain, would that be right?

    I must admit that these games don’t do much for me however I wouldn’t mind having a look at Alan’s Aircraft game. I doubt they’d let me take a plane up now, been a while, since I sat behind the controls of an aircraft :'(

    1. No, every bit of scenery, every horse, person, bird, speck of dust, falling leaf, is computer generated. It all comes from code written by the developers. The realism is why it’s so amazing.

    1. I’ve been gaming for about 20 years. Started with Everquest as a way to keep in touch with my son when he left for college. Have never played Legend of Zelda though. I think it’s on Nintendo, which I’ve never had. Yes, history adds a wonderful dimension to a game.

        1. What fun! My son now has 3 Xboxes at his house and I have one. We’ve only managed teams of four or five when my son, grandson, several of my son’s friends and I team up and play Battlefield or Destiny. But it’s been a while since I teamed up with the friends. I’m getting too embarrassed to hobble a team with my lack of skill. My role is usually spotter or cannon fodder.

  3. Attention to detail can truely make or break a game. The game devs showing they actually cared during the games creation can make a good game, into a legendary game.

  4. There is something special about RDR2 and many other set-piece games like The Witcher and Assassin’s Creed Oddyssey.

    Every time I play them and get sucked into the game, I realize that experience literally does pull you in with the scenery, realism, music and love for authenticity. Perhaps its much more present in one set in a historical time period. But there is something about it.

    1. I tried The Witcher when it first came out. Was enjoying it but quit because the type on all the menus, inventory, etc., was so small I could barely read it. Just wasn’t worth the effort. I’m playing AC Odyssey now. It was a bit of a shock coming straight off RDR2 because the Odyssey horses are so crude by comparison. But once I got past that, I was really hooked. Again. AC may be my favorite franchise.

      1. I agree with the type size, it is pretty small even for me in mid 30s with 20/19 vision. I get it.
        Have you thought about setting your TV to a lower resolution? It might actually the text size for you. Although it will diminish your overall field of vision.

        1. It never occurred to me to try that. Instead, just recently, I got a new 55″ HD tv to replace the older (9 yrs), 46″ set. Haven’t gone back to The Witcher, but everything else seems considerably improved. Now my concern is that at some point arthritis might hamper my controller use.

          Anyway, thanks for the suggestion. Much appreciated!

          1. From my understanding xbox is developing a modifiable controller that work folks with disabilities. I dont know about arthritis.

            I wouldnt be surprised if they arent doing something like that simply because the gaming community is aging and long time gamers are getting carpel tunnel and possibly arthritis. Its gonna be a big issue in the next several years.

          2. Hopefully I won’t develop arthritis, but at my age, it certainly wouldn’t come as a surprise. Meanwhile, I like to think all my controller use keeps my fingers strong and healthy. And gaming keeps my mind alert. Any excuse to play, right?

... and that's my two cents