An old obsession has returned

Like an unexpected relative knocking on your door during a full moon illuminated night, an old obsession of mine has returned. Gaming. Video gaming, to be exact. I’d avoided talking about it on my blog, as if it were some taboo topic. But after some consideration, I realized it’s part of me! I had three big passions growing up, and still: Performing Arts, Gaming, Travel. Ideally I wanted to combine all three –but that’s still a work-in-progress.

A couple of years ago my childhood Bestfriend presented me the honor of being his Best Man at his wedding and I spent some time recalling our friendship; We had bonded over an SNES game I had tucked in my jacket pocket as I beelined 1/4 mile to his place, in the rain. It was a peace offering of sorts as that was my first time ever meeting him.

When I was in College, I had an avatar named Avonjahl Sunstrike (Wizard) running around Everquest. Before you roll your eyes, I’d like to note that there are a handful of people I met in-game who I still talk to to this day! For that, I am grateful for the experience. Off-tangent, I made a rather handsome Wizard.

Post-collegiate and some time between nursing myself back from a tumultuous relationship and re-focusing on my acting career I started playing World of Warcraft. Go ahead, roll your eyes, I know you’ve been holding back. But hear me out –it was a subtly rewarding experience. I started noticing the game for more than just something to be played. There, in front of me, was an amazing storytelling vehicle. Amidst the dew laden virtual flora and the rapacious half man-half fish (damn Murlocs) gurgles that plagued coastal lands, was a finely crafted story. Imagine reading a book and watching a movie and fantasizing yourself as a hero (or highwaymen-vagabond) all rolled in one. Then there was the social aspect ofMMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Role-Playing Game)

If you thought Facebook and Twitter were bad, imagine yourself playing as this character –hacking and slashing away through a pixel-powered reality, and you’re sharing that experience with someone else. With the option, of course, of stopping the said hacking and slashing to discuss in-game politics, or, for the more daresome ones, real world beliefs and politics. You have options!

Leaving those Worlds after having invested so much time into the avatar AND in-game relationships was always difficult. But they’re mostly just that, in-game relationships and while some people (I’ve observed) are forever sucked in it, I’ve managed to come away relatively on the plus. Similar to Everquest, I came out of WoW with some terrific friendships with people from all over the World (of Warcraft? -hah, see what I did there?). It’s important to remember that with some of these Multiplayer games, specifically the Role-Playing ones, the social aspect of it breathes new life to gameplay with each log in. It gives it a different dimension than just being a “video game”.

Now in my fourth year of gaming semi-sobriety, the urge to game has returned. I’d be misreporting if I didn’t say I relapsed a couple of times throughout and played a bout or two…or three. Who’s counting? Not I. Gaming. It’s back at my doorstep and a cautious guest in my mental dwelling. Albeit, a familiar guest, I’m still not ready to have it in the master bedroom. Maybe. I do like a good role-playing session in the bedroom.

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