Sunday, February 3, 2008

My life as ‘Pi’

My life as ‘Pi’
Reflections on becoming a ‘Toon Part 1 January 2008

At the ripe age of 51, last fall, I was finally cajoled into trying my hand at online gaming by several coworkers. I never really played video games before – let alone online games of any kind..I do however come from a family where board and card games have been a part of family gatherings for my entire life. I decided to try it for a month, if only to be able to honestly say “I tried it and did not like it”!

Not only did I like it, I am HOOKED !!! I fell hook, line and sinker into the world of WOW ..(World of Warcraft ™). I have found an exciting new perspective on the meaning of the word ‘community’ … and the similarities to real life astound me every time I take a moment to compare, and contrast, life inside and outside of the game.

As a total novice to gaming, these ramblings will reflect my own personal experience as I navigate a totally new world. As you can imagine, entering a new world for the first time there are the obvious social and language problems. Acronyms abound! Not being from the “text-me” generation, I am having to learn an entire new vocabulary and learn it in abbreviated form to boot! Learning to maneuver my ‘Toon (character) in a new environment has also proved challenging. Not having mastered the eye-hand coordination necessary for gaming quite yet, I can be seen walking into walls, falling off of bridges, and spinning in circles frequently. Add in a little computer lag time, and you might also see me sailing back and forth across a ocean repeated times while being unable to disembark from my boat!

I have had to learn all about map reading and compass directions. There is nothing quite as frustrating as looking at the little compass in the upper right hand side of the screen, flipping back and forth to a map, and still ending up in the wrong place! For the first 8 weeks I played, I swore that the computer compass pointer was reversed. No matter what friends told me to the contrary, I had to finally figure it out for myself … the compass is always right …I was not!

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