Lately, I’ve been obsessed with the Playstation game Dragon Age: Inquisition. It’s a role-playing game that takes place in a fantasy setting similar to Lord of The Rings. (Feel free to send any emails explaining all the differences between these two worlds to head editor Paul Shirley.)
I won’t get too far into the plot details, but suffice it to say there are elves and dwarves and magic and demons. I wander around a vast open world acquiring equipment, fighting battles, and completing quests that lead to the defeat of evil. In addition to the action, there is a vast story told through cut scenes and long, detailed conversations. It’s immersive and fascinating and just plain fun. And also vast.
At the center of the game is my avatar and I love mine. He is a badass Dalish elf with a red face tattoo. A strong and inspiring leader, he’s also down to earth, the kind of elf you could just grab a glass of mead with.
And so I did that recently. And it turns out he had A LOT of questions for me.
This was our conversation.
MATTY ELF: It’s simply wonderful to take a break from slaying demons to have this parley.
MATTESON: The pleasure is all mine, Matty Elf.
MATTY ELF: My name, Matty Elf. Let’s start there, shall we? Where does it come from? I’ve postulated that my moniker is somehow derived from your name, Matteson, but is it a reference to something else? Do people call you Matty?
MATTESON: No. It actually comes from Matty Ice. That’s the nickname of the Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.
MATTY ELF: So I am named after a famous falconer from the realm of Atlanta – how grand!
MATTESON: Oh no! Sorry. The Falcons are a football team, in the NFL. It’s a sport I follow.
MATTY ELF: And you are a supporter of this Atlanta Falcons footballing organization?
MATTESON: Not really. The name just popped into my head.
MATTY ELF: So, it seems your naming of me was rather random.
MATTESON: Kind of, yes. Do you hate it?
MATTY ELF: It’s not exactly regal, is it? I am the head of the Inquisition, The Herald of Andraste, the savior of Thedas. And my name is Matty Elf? Matty Elf sounds like someone who should be making toys in Santa’s workshop.
MATTESON: I’ll grant you that.
MATTY ELF: And let’s discuss my hair. The sides and back are shaved, but it’s long on top. You have noticed that no one else from my world has this style of haircut, haven’t you?
MATTESON: I know this reference won’t mean anything to you, but it’s the haircut Brad Pitt had in the movie Fury. I really liked it, but I didn’t think I could pull it off. So I gave it to you.
MATTY ELF: I see. Living vicariously. Fair enough. Moving on to equipment, sometimes we’ll have much stronger armor in the inventory, but you won’t allow me to put it on. Why is that?
MATTESON: I choose armor by what looks the coolest.
MATTY ELF: So, when my insufficient armor caused me to be burned alive by a Fear Demon, that was for fashion?
MATTESON: The stronger, fire-repellent armor wasn’t as shiny.
MATTY ELF: Well, thank god I looked good while I was writhing in agony. OK, onto something more important. For a while it seemed like I was a homosexual. But then I wasn’t. Do you care to update me on this matter?
MATTESON: I didn’t realize that the heart icon in the dialogue tree meant romance. So I was just selecting that option randomly.
MATTY ELF: Well, Matteson, your “accident” left ME to deal with a heartbroken Qunari warrior. If you’ve never seen a seven-foot tall half-bull, half-man creature weep, let me tell you: it is a sad spectacle.
MATTESON: Sorry about that.
MATTY ELF: And now it appears I am a heterosexual elf attracted to human women. Which is why we’re pursuing Cassandra the Seeker. But you haven’t had me talk to her in ages. Why is that?
MATTESON: Well, I usually play those parts of the game when my wife isn’t at home, because I’m embarrassed. She makes fun of me for trying to seduce a video game character. She now refers to Dragon Age: Inquisition as “the flirting game.”
MATTY ELF: That’s not fair. It’s so much more than that!
MATTESON: I know!
MATTY ELF: Moving on – What’s a butt plug?
MATTESON: Excuse me?
MATTY ELF: That’s what you named one of my swords. It’s called The Mighty Butt Plug.
MATTESON: Oh, right. That. Well, butt plugs are for people’s butts. They plug them.
MATTY ELF: It’s a device used so one doesn’t shite himself?
MATTESON: No, it’s like a sex thing. For pleasure.
MATTY ELF: So, you named my sword, the very weapon that might bring an end to Corypheus’s evil reign over Thedas, after something that goes in one’s anus?
MATTESON: Yeah…. The handle kind of looks like a butt plug, so, you know… I thought it was funny.
MATTY ELF: I don’t mean to speak out of turn, Matteson. You are, after all, my maker. But morale is pretty low. Some of the men, myself included, wonder how seriously you’re taking this quest.
MATTESON: I could see why this troubles you. I promise to take the game, er, quest more seriously.
MATTY ELF: So you won’t position me behind my horse so it looks like I’m fornicating with him anymore?
MATTESON: I will not. Done doing that. Promise. Not funny.
MATTY ELF: One last question. Is your wife home?
MATTESON: No, she’s not actually.
MATTY ELF: Then may we resume the “quest” to take Cassandra to Ye Olde Bone Yard, if you know what I mean?
MATTESON: Um. Okay.
Matteson Perry’s first book will be published by Scribner in 2016. He sometimes uses Twitter.