The Sheer Terror Of Introducing A Friend To Your Favourite Game

A few days ago, I was hanging out at some friends' house. One of them, Ian, decided to buy a new PS4 game. "Get The Witcher 3!" I yapped, briefly outdoing his tiny dog, who looked on with a mix of curiosity and some other dog emotion. "Get it, get it, get it!" It was only then that I realised I'd made a grave mistake.

Ian and Dana, a longtime friend of mine from San Francisco's dangerous underground karaoke scene, sat on the couch and waited as the game downloaded and then booted up. They had no idea of the war going on inside my head. As the opening cut-scene began, my fears rolled in like some grim, portentous fog.

"Does all this fantasy lore talk sound like bullshit to them?" asked one voice in my head. "Should I try to clarify it? Or write it off by chuckling something like, 'Haha don't worry, the whole game's not like this'?"

"Oh no," another voice began. "The opening dream sequence where Geralt is taking a bath and Yennefer is just standing there naked, and they exchange some forced banter... is kinda dumb. Are Dana and Ian gonna hate it? Are they gonna hate me?"

"Ahem," a third voice, the calm voice, interjected. "Actually, nah, those other two guys are right. Panic!"

See, I really, really love The Witcher 3. It's in my top three games of all time, easily, and it's my absolute favourite of the past several years. I recommend it to EVERYBODY with the sort of cherubic adulation people normally reserve for Beyonce and that one ice skating anime I keep hearing about. It's one thing, though, to make a recommendation and then walk away. It's something else entirely to be there with people when they first start playing your favourite game. Call me crazy, but if you never shut up about a thing, I think said thing comes to reflect on you, your tastes and your decisions. Maybe just a little!

So I began to scrutinise and over-analyse everything about this game I've loved for almost two years. Does it start too slowly? Is it too dense? Are its opening hours even good? Is Geralt's eternal grumpiness charming to people who haven't played other Witcher games? Am I just a massive dork who likes massively dorky things that even other, fairly dorky people think are too much?

By this point, Ian and Dana had made it past the opening dream sequence and into the first little town. In the game, Geralt asked the tavern owner if she'd had any customers who smelled of lilac and gooseberries, which made me chuckle, but nobody else did. I was fucking drowning out there. I took a deep breath and tried to calm myself. "OK," I thought. "Ian told you he loved Dragon Age: Inquisition. The Witcher 3 is a pretty safe bet. I mean, it's an all-around better fantasy RPG! Surely he'll be able to see that."

Then I did what any reasonable person would do: I said, "Oh, look at the time," because it was almost midnight, and ran out the door.

Time passed. While writing this article, I decided to face my fears and ask the Dreaded Question with real words: Does Ian actually like The Witcher 3? Dana sent me an image of the following exchange:

Phew. So that means I can actually sleep tonight.


    1. Who spends the night at a friend's place watching them play a single player game that they've already played?

    2. This shouldn't be a legitimate fear/concern. If a friend doesn't rate the Witcher 3 they are a garbage person and should be ditched immediately anyway.

    Last edited 02/12/16 7:58 pm

    When I read the words "sat on the couch and waited as the game downloaded" I pictured one really long awkward moment; with the hosts wondering why you were still at their house the next day.
    Internet speeds are famously terrible here in Australia but Sony throttle upload speeds to about 1mb/s

    There are 3 things I've learned in my time on this brilliant blue ball.

    1: that if a friend recommends a game, it is always worth checking out. Many times I've only been introduced to a game/franchise because a friend mentioned it to me as a worth while experience and I've loved it. Where as I might not have known it existed b4hand (doubly true in today's market where platforms are releasing more games than ever). I trust the opinions of my friends infinity more than any other source.

    2: My opinion is worth a damn. On the internet I am but a tiny drop in an ocean (hell few people will even see this comment), but to my friends and family I'm an individual who has been gaming strongly from childhood. I know my games and I know my friends. I encourage them to tryout games I strongly think they would like. I am not always right but I am roughly correct 9/10 times (as proven by SCIENTISTS!)

    3: the Witcher series is f***ing awsome! The president of Poland gave the series to president Obama as a gift... If your friend doesn't like it find out why. Understanding another's opinions is the key to understanding you're own.

    Then find a new friend.

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