All through my life I've had memories of groups of people I've hung out with talking incessantly about sports, a topic that has never interested me in the slightest, and I don't imagine that it ever will. Now that I work as a professional engineer, shop talk during lunch is even more prevalent, and I find it even more distasteful, for even though I can occasionally participate in the conversation, it's not really what I want to have on my mind while I'm eating.
But now things are different. A couple weeks ago, almost all conversation topics eroded away, to be replaced with Oblivion. Everyone's playing it. It's all anyone talks about at lunch. It's all anyone talks about at Thursday game night. It's all anyone was talking about when I was playing Civilization. Sometimes I even pass people in the hallway, people I don't even know, talking about Oblivion. My manager even bought an Xbox 360 upon which to play it on Sunday.
The rare few who aren't are now completely out of the loop, alienated, and very annoyed. And I don't really care. For once in my life, something that I actually care about is the obsessive, all-encompassing, permeating conversation topic on everyone's mind. That's a nice change, no matter how brief it may be. In a month, people will be back to talking about the Mariners, just like how people were always talking about the Huskers or the Lakers or some other team I don't care about. The Dark Brotherhood and the Daedric shrines are far more pleasant.
The strange thing is... the conversations aren't even meaningful or fulfilling. I'm used to talking about things that I find inherently interesting or cool or funny. But this isn't like that. People basically just take turns talking about something fun they did. Most of the discussions on anything relating to Oblivion have been totally superficial. I found this guy and did a quest, and it was really fun. I'm grand-champion of the arena now. I really enjoyed the fourth Thieves' Guild quest. I found a bug where a person with disposition 100 was still yelling at me to get out of her house. And so forth. Maybe it's just the contrast to what kinds of things usually talk about at lunch that makes it still amusing. Maybe it's just fun to talk about and hear people talk about something that immediately invokes memories of gaming joy.
I don't know. Is this what it's like to talk about sports all the time?