It's been a year now. A year of Battlefield 3. Last year at about this time, the beta had closed and I was obsessed. I counted the days. When the game dropped I ran from work to pick it up and posted a picture of myself holding it, just to tease my husband who worked late and would be hours behind me when he got home.
Do you remember those weird bugs and glitches? Like the turtlenecks on prone soldiers? I miss them.
I have played close to a thousand hours total on my three accounts. Of those hours, I probably spent the most time on Metro, Seine Crossing and Grand Bazaar. But I know them all so well. Caspian Border, Noshahr canals, Operation Firestorm. Ziba Tower. Strike at Karkand. Donya Fortress. Gulf of Oman. These are real places to me. I have been there. Nowadays, they feel like home. I know every corner, every angle of them. I know exactly from where you can shoot at what with which gun. I know where people will go and where they will run.
And I do not tire.
Still every round is different.
Every round, I find myself in some new situation and I need to make snap decisions to survive or reach an objective.
And still, I see things I've never seen before. Last night, a bicycle came flying through the air from across the map and landed on the head of the guy I was shooting at. He died and I'm not sure if it was the bike or me.
I live longer now. I plan far ahead.
I don't get as upset anymore when I die, I mostly just respawn and focus.
I think I have changed much more than the game has. For all the tweaks and patches and DLC, it is still what it was in the beta. You are given a setting, tools and an objective. Go. But I, I have changed so much more as a player of the game and as a gamer overall.
A year down the road, me and BF3 has settled, moved in together, established routines. I often recognise the names of one or two of the players in a round, having played with or against them before. Out of the millions of players there is, I'd say that is a sign that I'm getting comfortable here in digital Iran.
And there is no place like home.