Fallout

Lone Lawyer: One man’s simple expression of gratitude for such a wonderful game.

fallout 6 - Lone Lawyer: One man's simple expression of gratitude for such a wonderful game.
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TLDR: Bethesda (and anyone else who may care), if you are listening, I absolutely love Fallout 76.

This will be my first post on Reddit. Although I created an account a few years back, I haven't actively engaged on Reddit until I received Fallout 76 as a Christmas present and, after looking for some help online, was directed here. I am now subscribed to this subreddit and scroll through it often. After reading everyone else's posts and comments, I thought I should add my own.

I will begin with a little history of myself. I am a married man with four children. I graduated college with a philosophy major and a minor in religion. Not knowing where to go upon graduation, I decided to take the LSAT on a whim. I happened to get a good enough score I was offered a full tuition scholarship to attend law school. After suffering through the worse three years of my life, I graduated from law school.

Being a lawyer is not a good fit for me. I suffer from depression and anxiety. The rigors of being a lawyer exponentially compound my already bad anxiety. I've become pretty anti-social as well. I've been practicing law for 10 years and everyday I dream of retiring. But I'm nowhere close to the right financial situation to do so. So, I feel trapped in a profession I hate.

As for my specific job, I am the District Attorney in a small county. I have no assistants and am alone in the job. Everyday I am forced to grapple with very difficult questions of morality, ethics, justice and mercy. And I have no one to talk it over with. And remember, as a philosophy major, I live in a very grey world. I hardly ever see anything in black and white.

When my officers catch a convicted felon with meth on him again, I don't see the same "bad guy" they do. I see a 40 year old man who became addicted to meth at the age of 15 when his father forced him to smoke it. I see the guy who was just on a field trip with me as a chaperone because our kids are in the same class. I see a guy who is stressed because he has another child with special needs that requires constant care. I see a guy who never misses work and only consumes meth on the weekends when his wife lets him have a guys' night out. I see a guy who wants to do right, but suffers tremendously.

If I give this guy a break, law enforcement is upset because I'm "weak." If law enforcement is upset, morale goes down and my working environment becomes hostile. If I hammer the guy, I take a father and husband away from his family. I take their only source of income. I take the special needs kid's main support.

On top of that, all my "peers" are lawyers that I work opposite of all day everyday. I never get to collaborate with them. I never get to team up. As defined by the system, we have to be zealously opposed to each other.

All of this is to paint the picture that, even if I didn't suffer from anxiety and depression normally, I think this would job would force it upon me.

But enough about my history and on to Fallout 76.

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My wife bought Fallout 76 as a Christmas present for me. We agreed I would only play two nights a week so I could devote the other nights to her and the kids. (I have an addictive personality and could easily get absorbed in something for months on end.) I play every Wednesday and Friday.

Every Wednesday and Friday, my world suddenly makes so much more sense. Everything becomes black and white. The world becomes simple. There is only one rule: survive. There is no right and wrong. There is no justice and mercy. There is no anxiety. There is me and there is the wasteland. And I am going to survive.

As soon as I log on, I immediately forget that I'm a lawyer. I forget that I'm a father and husband (not to say I forget my family!, but I do forget that I have to worry about providing for them). I forget about criminals and laws and bills and anxiety and depression.

I log on and I decide what I'm going to do for these next few hours. Do I want to replace my wood floor with my shag carpeting? Do I need to move my Mothman statute downstairs so I can have my lion statute next to my four post bed?

Or do I need to venture out and grab supplies? If so, do I want to claim a workshop or do I want to run through West Tek? Or is it time to finally get back to helping Rose with what she asked of me a month ago?

The wonderful thing is, no matter what I decide, it will not be the wrong choice. It is my choice and no one can second guess it. I get to make consequence-free decisions for hours on end. And it is such a relief.

Just last Friday night I was strolling around the southern end of the map and came across some unmarked community. As I was walking into a warehouse/garage, Country Roads came on my radio at the same time I noticed mole rats inside. I backed out (I'm a sniper) and I was hit by a sudden realization. "I'm playing a game." For two hours I had been playing and had completely forgotten I was inside a game. I sat there and watched the mole rats scurry around inside and listened to Country Roads. I looked around at the beautiful scenery. I watched the sunset over that garage.

And in that moment it hit me just how wonderful this game is. This game had given me hours where my stress had left. It had provided me entertainment that I do not find in books, movies, or TV shows. This game has more than paid for itself in all of the mental health therapy it has provided me. And I'm only level 46. I know I've got many, many more hours left to get lost!

Ultimately, I wanted to use this post in case Bethesda is out there and listening. I don't care what anyone else has or will say. I absolutely love this game and thank you from the bottom of my heart for creating such a beautiful and wonderful place for me to escape to. In my world of anxiety, depression and stress, you have made a place where country roads lead me home.

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