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I guess I just like liking things

Yesterday my computer decided it was pretty much time to retire from this computering business and shut itself down permanently. As a result, I don’t have a video for you because nothing downloaded in time and so instead I am taking you on a wander down memory lane with a look at my most memorable and important to me game characters.  One of the joys of online gaming is the ability to be whoever you want to be, as we all know.  One of the facts of online gaming is you often end up being just you, but with the less interesting bits edited out. Usually. Okay sometimes. Anyway let’s carry on shall we?

I have played many, many MMOs which means I get a lot of emails from games I barely remember. Most of these games have, obviously, not absorbed me in any way and so I wander off to poke something new. Other games have really grabbed me, and so here is a slightly too long list of the toons I’ve really loved. The prompt I was given was “What part of you did these characters represent?” and I’m going to give that a go and see where we end up.

The Sims Online – Horizonpurple
I don’t have a snap of ol’HP. Well I do, but it’s on a hard drive somewhere and I can’t find the hard drive. TSO was basically the original Sims graphically with added bits to make it more MMOish. You’d buy or move into a house, and run the house as a skill house (learning logic, charm, mechanical skill etc), a money house (making gnomes, solving chalkboard problems etc) or a fun house (games). Horizonpurple lived in Alphaville, mostly at a money house called Board to Death (chalkboards – geddit?).

In many ways, it was a chatroom with goals, and I invested  many many hours in it. The house I lived in was one of the most popular ones (nothing to do with me, the house owner worked hard to get it to the top of the list) and as a result I met many many people over the course of the year or so I lived there. It was a social outlet as well as a fun game, and HP made a lot of friends. It’s sort of hard to explain why HP retains such fond memories, possibly because she was my first real toon in my first real virtual world. The possibilities of being someone completely different were endless, but really I just was me but in a pretty frock. The other aspect was of course social. I’d done my share of chatrooms, mailing lists and even spent time on a BBS but this felt like sending a little me out into a world.

ZiggySecond Life – Ziggy Quirk
Whispers of Second Life swept through TSO. The limitations of Sims Online were becoming apparent, and people wanted to upload their own stuff to sell or enjoy. Second Life offered exactly that. When I think of my early time in SL, it was Summer. Or it smells like Summer. I wish I’d taken more snaps, but I was too busy figuring out how to walk. I went in with a friend from TSO who was into skinny goth chicks so for my first couple of weeks I was a skinny goth chick, but that wore off pretty quick. It was hard to find a place in Second Life and there were many times when I would think of giving up, but eventually I made a teddy bear. People liked it, I made some more and come Valentine’s Day I was rich, rich I tell you! Which wasn’t the point.

Ziggy was loud, a  little brash and able to walk into a drama without even looking for it. An emotional banshee, basically. Bold. Also she has zappy antennae which is awesome. Ziggy was almost a “pure me” if that makes sense. A Lyn-Concentrate, distilled down into one over active and easily distracted avatar. I say one, I mean six. I always had issues with alt-collecting.

With Ziggy I raised money for charity, I learned photoshop (a bit), I danced in space, fell in and out of crushes, visited a million places, and made friends. I tried to drag some pre-existing friends into the game but they never hung around, so I made new ones.  Good friends, brilliant friends, friends I still see daily.  The advent of new building tools and my general lack of time and interest to learn those tools meant I wandered away from Second Life. It feels odd to be in game without creating anything, and I never quite managed to just be a “player” instead of a “creator” so the draw was lost, though I still pop in for events. The increasing computer requirements and resulting lag were also a factor.

glitchGlitch – Lily Frog, Esq
Glitch was beautiful, and I’m excited about Eleven Giants which is a plan to reopen the world of Ur as imagined by the Eleven Giants of Glitch.  Glitch is the one game I’ve left unwillingly – it closed down leaving us without a single gas plant to harvest or a pig to nibble.  Lily Frog, Esq (later Lyn Frog, Esq as so many Lily’s joined) was me if I’d had not a worry in the world. I think it was much the same for everyone who played. If you didn’t have anywhere to be in the morning, and could earn your money just wandering aimlessly, wouldn’t you do it? I would.  It was a game you could play however you liked, be it power levelling to level cap or collecting a bajillion bubbles for no real reason other than to say “I have a bajillion bubbles”. Lily was also incredibly social in Glitch, more so than in any other game. I’d drop everything to attend a random event or visit a random person.

dartfrogWorld of Warcraft – Dartfrog (and Jadefrog. Slyfrog. Oh, and the other Dartfrog and…)
You may have spotted a theme in my WoW names. Although I play four or five toons seriously and another 7 or 8 casually, Dartfrog the Orc Hunter is what I still consider my “main” even if I don’t play her as much as the others. Dart is the very first toon created on my account waaaay back in whenever it was. I can’t remember, I said last week 2005 or so and that’s the best I can do, datewise. In those days, Dart was actually a Night Elf, but when I went Horde I didn’t want to abandon her so I moved her with me.

Although I’m not usually green and my teeth are somewhat less tusky, Orc Dartfrog is probably the best representation of me in the MMO world. She’s badly geared, easily distracted and doesn’t group.  The other Dartfrog (Worgen) who I rolled years after Orc Dart reached 90 ages before she did. To be fair to ol’Orcyface levelling took longer back in the day (you’re lucky this post isn’t “Here’s what I remember WoW was like in Vanilla”) but even so. She’s taken her time to get to 90 just as I take my time to get to things, or to learn things. She’d also rather craft than quest right now, which seems apt. She’s also likely to flee in the face of danger, which is just sensible.

And yes, I’m aware I sound like a mad woman referring to Dartfrog like she’s a whole real person, but she kind of is. She’s been through a lot, has Dart. She’s sturdy, as should I be.


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