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Fine. I admit it. I never finished the first Mass Effect. I'm not proud of myself, but I’m damn sure not going to make any excuses. Excuses like RPG fatigue. Excuses like eighteen credit-hours a semester. Excuses like alcoholism. Excuses like World of Warcraft.  Excuses, excuses… I stopped making excuses when I stopped pooping while fully clothed (2006), and I'm not keen on revisiting old habits. So now, as penance, I will spend the next week playing through all three Mass Effect games. In order, no other games, lots and lots of quality beer. With luck, I'll make up for a geek fauxpaux on par with referring to "Link" as "Zelda."

Unoffically sponsored by the Charleston Beer Exchange

Why would I do this? What could I possibly hope to accomplish by unceremoniously gorging myself on a trilogy that a large majority of the gaming community considers to be one of the finest ever pressed to disk? Can I even do it in a week? How does one human being have so much free time? Is there a medical or otherwise scientific reason why candied bacon is so incredibly fucking delicious? All valid inquiries.

Somewhere, a vegetarian is crying on his tofurkey.

As you’re reading this article on Bitmob, I really don’t see the need to give even the most basic description of the debates that have plagued Mass Effect 3 since launch day. I won’t even bother to, at this point, provide any opinion on it. I’ll wait. I’ll wait until a week from now, when my thumbs are bloody and my eyes are swollen. I’ll wait until I emerge from the Mass Effect universe with a pair of eyes that only a new adopter of the franchise could have. At which point, I might be able to provide a unique opinion on the most divisive debate to wrench at the geek hive mind since Han and Greedo's tiff in Mos Eisley Cantina. I might.

Or I could die of malnourishment, or suffer some sort of embolism as a result of sleep deprivation and legal speed, or go completely mad and never be heard from again; all potential hazards.

Obviously, this sort of project wouldn't work if I didn't first establish some ground rules for my self-imposed exile. To wit:

1. Nothing but Mass Effect – And I mean nothing. If the situation calls for it (e.g.: shitty day at work), my girlfriend can play Assassin's Creed: Revelations multiplayer, but I'm not allowed to touch the controller.

2. Sleep only when completely necessary – This will serve the dual purpose of giving me a shot at actually finishing all three games, while making my communications with the outside world that much more amusing.

3. 100% of each story mode, at least 80% total game completion – As this how much I'll play just about any game before putting it down for a while. Also, as I understand it, Mass Effect is game to be appreciated. One does not guzzle fine wine.

4. Stay in the room – I'm not allowed to leave my apartment. I'll rely on my trustworthy network of fellow geeks to drop by for visits. This could help stave off complete mental collapse.

If you want to keep track my progress you can follow my Twitter feed, check out the blog I've started especially for this assignment, keep me honest via Raptr or XBL (feel free to shoot me a friend request/words of encouragement) or have a look-see at the shiny new tumblr page I set up to keep a photographic record. I might even try to put up a few well worded thoughts right here on Bitmob, but with all the damn journalistic integrity flying around this place, I don't know if the ravings of a boozed-up, half-mad Ned are really an appropriate contribution.