Is Geralt Incapable of Setting Boundaries?

Now, hear me out, please, before you dislike what I\’m gonna say or tell me I\’m overthinking things (which I probably am 😊). As a byproduct of my recent break up, I\’m digging deep into setting personal boundaries. It\’s definitely something I\’ve got to work on.
So, I noticed something today as I\’m picking my way for the second time through the gorgeous open world that is THE WITCHER 3 THE WILD HUNT. More often than not Geralt is given the choice to accept a side quest or Witcher contract. The player is offered the option to have Geralt say, \”I can\’t help you\” or \”I don\’t have time for this.\” Of course if you choose these options you\’ll wind up wildly under-leveled for the main quests that you have no choice to accept if you want to complete the game. So you choose \”How can I help?\” or \”What do you need me to do?\”
This, however, doesn\’t just happen in the game. It also happens more insidiously during the first season of THE WITCHER TV series on Netflix. What springs to mind is Season 1 Episode 4 OF BANQUETS, BASTARDS AND BURIALS. The scene I\’m thinking of involves Duny and Pavetta where Duny in his hedgehog form declares the Law of Surprise and comes to claim Pavetta as his wife. Turns out Pavetta loves Duny, but not the point. Queen Calanthe orders Geralt to kill Duny and Geralt says something along the lines of \”I\’m not getting involved.\”
Geralt, of course, does get involved once all hell breaks loose. Yes, he does side with the hedgehog knight, staying true to his principles, but he violates his own boundary by, say it with me, getting involved.
And this example isn\’t unique to THE WITCHER 3. Every open world game does it, but with 90+ hours of content, it happens a lot more in this game. I am of course being a little tongue in cheek about this topic, but I do think it\’s a case of art imitating life. And, yes, video games are an art form.
Just as in the game, perhaps we cross boundaries IRL due to fear of missing out. In THE WITCHER, the \”fear\” is you\’ll miss out on XP and won\’t be able to progress in the game. IRL, well, it\’s whatever experience this person is offering you. Maybe it\’s so unique you\’ll think never have the opportunity again. Or maybe it\’s adjacent to what you\’ve always wanted so you set aside your reservations and dive in.
Do I really believe we are conditioned by video games or other media to ignore our common sense? No, I don\’t subscribe to that school of thought. I tend to lean in the direction that entertainment is a safe space to act out our fears, desires, and wildest fantasies.
Anyway, food for thought. Just as we should live mindfully so should we game.
Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below. And as always, please share, subscribe or follow via the button on the sidebar. Gamers and thinkers gotta stick together 🙂
Twitter: @cindyjacks

The Last Thing I Want

\”I need no one and the last thing I want is someone needing me.\” Geralt of Rivia, THE WITCHER, TV show, Netflix.
Yes, this line is from the TV show, but it really spoke to me as to why the game is so magical. And why it speaks to those of us who are \”social misfits\”. I accept this about myself. Seems I was \”born that way\”.
Forgive me while I digress a moment. At seventeen my parents had me take the Myers Briggs personality test and I came back ISFP. At the time I didn\’t much care what those letters meant, but going through the boxes and boxes of memorabilia after Mom and Dad passed, I found the result paperwork and decided to Google it.
Turns out those of us who are Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, and Perceptive tend towards the arts and are socially awkward. Reading this, I sunk my head in my hands. My whole life I\’d been running from who I am by nature. It was around that time I started this blog.
So what\’s all this got to do with THE WITCHER 3 THE WILD HUNT? Well, it\’s validation for those of us whole truly believe the journey is the destination. Geralt walks The Path, hated wherever he goes. He sticks to his own moral and ethical code. He is capable of acts of great heroism and mercy, but also capable of acts of brutality and destruction. He embraces all of that about himself and he\’s fine with it. He\’s also the quintessential lone wolf. He often leads his life with the attitude that he is all he needs and he doesn\’t want anyone else to rely on him.
While that\’s not always the healthiest choice in real life, I believe it is very healthy to have a fantasy space to explore total self-reliance. For those of us looking, striving, needing to do more than acquire a big house, a shiny car, a trophy spouse and 2.5 children, we need tales of the triumphant loner to keep us going. Geralt is his own hero. It\’s time I learn to be mine.
As always, tell me what draws you to this game in the comments below. Or tell me what other game gives you this sense of freedom. Oh and please \”Like\” and add me to your reading list so we can keep the conversation going.

My New Old Man…Geralt of Rivia

Two days in a row I\’ve gotten out of bed, brushed my teeth, done a couple chores and did a little yoga. This is massive progress. And I know I said I wouldn\’t do, but I will attribute this resiliency to one man: Geralt of Rivia!
Just Kidding. I would hate to insult the friends and family who have been so very supportive. However, this is a blog about my gaming journey.  So I decided to take the advice of a wonderful friend with similar trauma: \”THE WITCHER 3 helped me tremendously when I was so down I felt I couldn\’t get back up.\” Sounds like just what the doctor ordered.
It has to be THE WITCHER 3 THE WILD HUNT. So first I had to forgive CD Projekt Red for the CYBERPUNK 2077 debacle. But as wiser folks than I have said: Forgiveness is the gift you give yourself.
And what a gift it was to start a long put off New Game+. Yesterday, I sunk so deep into Geralt\’s world I felt I was actually in the tub with him at Kaer Morhen. And what cisgender, heterosexual female wouldn\’t want that?
I\’d forgotten how rich and beautiful the world of THE WITCHER 3 could be, but yet so dark and menacing at the same time. And there\’s so many main quests, secondary quests, and Witcher contracts, not to mention all the cool, weird stuff in Geralt\’s world that one hardly has time to be sad. No better panacea, I promise.
It also helps at bedtime that I can watch Mr. Henry Cavill depict an absolutely stunning Geralt on Netflix\’s THE WITCHER. I\’m taking the deep dive, following The Path, and maybe…just maybe I\’ll find myself along the way.
So, I ask those hardcore gamers out there: What do you play when your heart is breaking? What games keep you off the ledge? I hope you\’ll share my journey and your own as well. \”Like\” and subscribe, please please please 🙂