I never thought I would like an MMORPG.
Growing up, I watched friends play Everquest, World of Warcraft, and even Second Life with only a minor interest. Sim City, The Incredible Machine, and Myst were more up my alley as far as computer gaming. When I went to college, a laptop was my key study tool, ironically (Facebook arrived in 2004, the year I started school, and thank God, at that point Facebook was still incredibly boring and Wikipedia was not yet to be trusted). Games were on consoles, and computers were for writing papers. I didn't get the whole computer gaming thing as a whole until Elder Scrolls Online.
At first, when I saw Marc playing Elder Scrolls Online, I watched his steel-plated avatar hustle across the landscape and thought: "This sorta looks fun, but it is not for me." Suddenly, a player rode by on a giant tiger with a pet dragon following close behind. "Actually this IS for me," I said "I, too, want to ride a giant tiger and have a cool dragon!" We signed me up for an account and the rest is history. I've been playing Elder Scrolls with Marc for about a year now, It's been a fun way for us to play games together, but not necessarily fight against each other.
As much as I like Elder Scrolls Online, fortunately I don't think I am at the point where I am needing MMORPG detox - I still get outside a bunch, and like with all games I struggle to find time to play ESO. When I do find time, it is a fun escape.
What is cool about Elder Scrolls Online is you can use it for character art resourcing. Yes... that is right ... I found a way to take a game and use it for artistic purposes!
Sometimes when I need to draw a comicbook character at a tough angle, I start up Elder Scrolls Online and position the camera above one of my avatars.
As strange as this sounds, it is far easier than searching on Google for the perfect reference photo and finding piles of weird and depressing stock art.
I've also learned a bit about landscape artistry from Elder Scrolls. Since I am an artist who is much better at illustrating people, things, and animals than landscapes, it takes tons of extra work for me to make landscapes be interesting.
While traipsing through Morrowind and Rivenspire, I thought about how hard it would be to be an Elder Scrolls Online landscape artist, and how you would have to make the landscape interesting and believable from all angles.
Heck - this goes for any game. Painters are lucky because they just have to make one angle of their media look good (usually). Not every landscape screencapture in ESO is a winner, but, there are interesting ideas afoot with grass, rock forms, tree variation, and clouds.
This video game is lifelike in that if you slow down and take time to smell the roses, you start to see some really interesting things.