Returning to where I once began

I did mention full circles in my last post didn’t I?

It would seem that these events can have a good start only to return to a far better one. So after 31 years(yes that’s me playing Elite in the picture above – from Christmas 1984) I’m back as a Harmless pilot in the depths of the Milky Way. It’s so pleasing to be able to type those words. But I didn’t support the Kickstarter campaign and that kind of irks me somewhat.

Elite was the game that changed my perception on just how involving interactive entertainment can be. At 14 years old my mind was blown by the sheer scale of adventure albeit via a tape deck drive. In what has become a return home of sorts, Elite Dangerous has given me something I’d forgotten about all those years ago; how nice it is just to explore a game without all the fuss and distraction of an average story tacked into it. Oh how I’ve missed the simple pleasures of finding my own adventure and not being curtailed by an unambitious and stale script.

Meditation on the vastness of the galaxy

Then there’s a more personal reason that I’ve returned to the Elite game experience. I find the experience a meditative exercise where my mind is allowed to channel away from stress. Maybe it’s the theme of space travel and exploration? I’ve always loved Astronomy and have asked for a telescope for my birthday this year. Like the sea, the stars and our galaxy fascinate but also allow my mind to rest and soak up the wonder and vastness. From experience I know that this is a big benefit to my own mental wellbeing and the more I engage in these activities the strong I am at dealing with adversity.

So exploration?

There’s still much to consider with what roles I will play out in Elite Dangerous. I’ve had two evenings with the game and while I have learned how to best control the Sidewinder, trading has been the activity I’ve concentrated on. Realistically I know my enjoyment will come from exploration. I’ll aim to have at least one ship dedicated to this activity, in the future, with a high-end Discovery Scanner plus a Detailed Surface Scanner. In the meantime it may mean trading and exploration will need to be approached in equal measure.

Keep an eye out for my future patching posts where I’ll detail my activities in Elite Dangerous.

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3 thoughts on “Returning to where I once began

  1. Aaron Lee

    “Elite Dangerous has given me something I’d forgotten about all those years ago; how nice it is just to explore a game without all the fuss and distraction of an average story tacked into it.”

    I fully concur with this, Dave. The era of the BBC Micro and Spectrum was a shade before my time, but the open-ended sense of adventure that you must have felt firing up Elite is the same feeling I got from some of the more ‘toy-like’ video games from my youth.

    The open world of Jak and Daxter and Ratchet & Clank were a huge passion of mine back in the early 00s. School friends and I used to swap stories about our adventures in the worlds and come up with our own fictional side-stories for the characters to go on. It was tremendous fun and remains one of those touchstones that I can go back to, taking me right back to that time.

    Astronomy too is something that intrigued me back when I was much more heavily into science. Did you know our Sun is a G-type star? Yes? No? Well, now you do. I may have forgot practically all of my high school science and almost everything I learned from my Techno Quest floppy disc challenges (much tougher than some O-Level/GCSE stuff), but I still remember that. And, of course, I’d still be an astronaut if was given the chance. Can’t beat a bit of space exploration, can you?

    I look forward to hearing more about your time with the game and your star gazing.

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    1. David Osbon

      You surely can’t beat a bit of space exploration! I did know our sun was a G-type and that’s partly down to the astronomy course I did with the OU a few years back. Saying that Elite Dangerous has been developed around scientific data and that’s to the developers credit. If you have any knowledge regarding telescopes, please let me know Aaron.

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