CaK over at GreyWardens.com has penned a brief article about the way in which Dragon Age: Origins' party camp feels like "a game within the game".
Each time I arrive at the party's resting location something seems to happen with the game. It's not just a place where the party's wounds are cured or where you can actually enchant items; It is also a place where you can have a break on your own from the actual game and storyline and just hang out at the campfire. My only complaint about the party camp is that it should have felt more "alive". Your party members just stand there shifting their feet, when they could have been sharpening their blades, cooking some food, or drinking some ale.
It feels like the surrounding world and the urgent matters with the darkspawn are magically on hold. I don't care any more about Orzamma's throne problem, nor about the plague that swallows the hunted woods and it's people of the Brecilian Forest. I just want to . have a break and rest my mind.
The funny thing is, I don't need to exit the game for that.