...my child sold your honor student the answers to the test...

Monday, August 24, 2009

My Secret Identity

Ok ok it's not really a secret. I mean, I blab about it often enough and a good portion of my friends call me by my other aliases so really how secret can it be? But I figured if this site is about me I have to get all aspects of me out there. I promise not to overload and we'll take it in baby steps, ok?

Imagine if you will: the sun is setting. Kids are snuggly tucked in their beds, 34 books read and 2 glasses of chocolate milk served, tantrums have been completed and...the house is oddly quiet. What time of the day is it? My favorite time!!!!

So what does a Suburban Rebel Mom do when she has *gasp* free time o her hands? Game! When I say game most people automatically assume console games: Xbox, Wii, PS3. To be honest, I can do those games but thats not my style. I'm more of a computer gamer. I am, dare I say, the ultimate gamer geek. Female though, so that helps abate the geekdom and pushes me more towards a minority of "cool" gamers. Gamer chick is the normal catch phrase. I dig it. Another assumption with PC games is that the vast majority of gamers are teenage boys or college students still living in their parents basement. Would it throw you for a loop to realize that only 25% of gamers out there are in fact, minors? The vast majority of gamers in todays world, 60% in fact, are from the ages of 20-35. And I fit just perfectly in that bracket =)...wait, who am I trying to convince? You?..Or me?

I figured since this is such a big part of my life outside of kids (you know, my minimum free time) I'd use this platform to explain both what it is I do, and the history behind how I got into it. besides, if I write it down here and people actually read my tangents then thats one more time I dont have to explain my hobby and deal with the glazed, confused looks I get each time. So here goes:

I've been gaming in different fantasy worlds since 2000. It all started a long time ago, B.C. (before children) when a friend of mine introduced J to this computer game called Everquest. Well after 3 months of not seeing my husband....EVER... after dinner each night, and I was bored to tears with nothing to read and I hate tv, I finally had enough. I stormed into his office, demanded that he shove over so I could sit, took over his chair and ordered him to teach me this game. I wanted to know what the hell was so cool as to take my husbands full attention away from me entirely every single damn night. Hesitantly at first, J started explaining the foundation of the game: you're in a different world, and can create a character (called an Avatar) and have them do stuff. Think Sims, only in a fantasy based world with magic and mythological creatures, and it's a bit more intense. So you can create a person who does magic, or heals, or swings a sword, or conjures up demons, or and reanimate skeletons to help fight the beasts of the world. It's pretty cool and right up my alley! Another facet of the game, J told me, was that not only can you have your own avatar, but you can interact with other people around the world with their avatars. In fact it's almost a MUST in order to advance later on! So I asked if we could interact together if I had my own computer and game. And he said yes. That night I told him to buy me a computer, my own chair and game, and lets do it together. I think he fell in love with me all over again that nighyt. And I figured if you cant beat them, join them. Of course I never realized back then how hooked I would be.

So thats the foundation of what I do and how I got there. Fascinating, isnt it?

9 years later and J and I are still going strong together gaming wise in a spin off game called Everquest 2 (or EQ2 for short). Almost each night after the kids are in bed we log on to our computers in the same room, throw on our head sets, and enter another world where we get together with a bunch of friends on their own characters and fight stuff. You know stuff like zombies, werewolves, vampires, dragons, orcs, goblins, etc. 4 of those nights we get together with our guild mates (think of a huge group of people who get along, want to accomplish the same things in the game, and have a good time) and form a raid (24 people from the guild who are both skilled in how to play their character and team up to work on taking down huge monsters 1 person or even a few could not handle alone). 

Our guild is named Bane. It's filled with an amazing bunch of people from all over the world who just click. We really enjoy raiding together but the golden aspect to our guild is that Real Life always comes first. (Oddly enough a lot of guilds dont understand that which is sad.). So I have an easier time playing and being able to leave at the drop of a hat if my kids wake up and need me. This is us from last night waiting to enter an area to raid:

And this is my "Secret Identity" or Avatar, Voyde:

I've been working with her now for a couple of years.She is what is known as a dirge. A dirge is a type of person who enhances the abilities of other players. While dirges may not be the best at dealing out damage, or staying alive on their own, they are highly needed because they just make everyone else look good ;) And my disadvantages in dealing out damage does not stop me from trying! And I must say, I think I do well enough =) Due to my small size and, err wings (I play a fairy, go ahead and mock... although shes a naughty fairy!!) I tend to put on an illusion while fighting to help me see better. So this is what I look like most of the time:

So last night we worked on a few different monsters, or Mobs. The bi ones are called Named or Bosses. The named we were working on last night are some of the hardest in the game at the moment.  I enjoy making videos of our raids and putting them to music but hadnt for some time Last night I finally got off my butt, downloaded the software needed to record, and took both some awesome photos and videos of our evening.

This is Zarrakon, Vampire Dragon, Pain in the ass fight, amazing graphics, and all around worth wiping (dying over and over and over) to bring him down:

Most people hate this fight but I love it. It involves not just running up to him swords flailing, yelling taunts, and hitting him with hammers, but complete coordination, attention, and most especially, teamwork. Trying to coordinate the perfect attack knowing you are just as vital as the other 23 friends and hoping that none of your friends (or you) screw up...again. To give you a decent perspective of his size, here is a photo of us before we charge in screaming =)

I think when I'm right up close to him I stand about as tall as his ankle. Then again I'm small. Js troll might come up to his calf. I'm about to make a music vid of this fight and I'l post it somewhere on the net when done.

Speaking of videos. Another fight we did last night was Anashti Sul, the deity of Undead. And I got a music video done of us bringing her down. (I'm the one the camera follows)

So there, in a nutshell, is my secret identity. I am a gamer to the core. I love magic, mythological creatures, fighting evil (and sometimes a faun or two) and talking nightly on my headset with J and a bunch of our friends from around the world, teaming up to do things we could never do on our own. It's both a great life lesson and a cheap date night all the time ;)

Except when the kids wake up mid raid. That then leads to......


AdeaNeeedsCoffee said...

Hey, I know exactly where you are coming from. I DO NOT Game, but my husband MAKES video games for a living, so I know too much about the topic. I am glad you found a fabu way to integrate your quirks into a hobbie that works for you and your family!
BTW, I know one of the founders at www.womengamers.com ! You should check it out if you haven't! ;P
Happy otherworlding!

Melanie said...

Hm. I might just try this "gaming" thing.

Rhaven said...

Hmmm, maybe you should O_o