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Playing a video game gave me a kind of catharsis I didn’t know I needed

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Whether they be written in the annals, painted on canvas, or coded into virtual space, fantasy worlds are captivating. It’s as if these stories wield a macrocosmic mirror, consistently challenging us with distorted versions of our own world. Although this distortion is initially confronting, it soon makes it easier to gravitate towards what’s at the core of these realms, and what that means in relation to our own.

I first played The Witcher 3 about a year after it came out. I was invested in the series when it launched, having already played the other games and read some of the books, but I couldn’t put much time into the game — I was kept busy between studying English at university and working full-time hours at my supposedly part-time job. So, a little over a year late to the party, I put on my Witcher medallion and saddled up my trusty equestrian companion, Roach, before setting off on an epic quest across the harsh landscapes of Velen, the shady streets of Novigrad, and the tempestuous wilds of Skellige.

It didn’t take me long to become smitten by this wonderful world, teeming with madcap magic and all sorts of leviathan beasts. As you wander along forest trails, you’ll encounter everything from travelling merchants to bloodcurdling colossi,........

© The Guardian