Sitting in a delicious bar in Rose Street, watching the early evening, after work, not-yet-going-out punters. The music is mellow, the system above average.
Nothing unusual about that, I hear you think, and you would be right. No, the unusual bit starts in about one hour when I go home. Home to the MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) where I spend all my time these days. A type-fest. And typing is something I do rather well. And there I will be till my eyes can no longer keep open. But knowing full well the game goes on all night - it can never stop - and at six the next morning you can chat to the redrim overnighters as the gagging on it early starters log on and wait for the rush, and yet the calm. For what other drug gives you all the supply you want for nine quid a month? What other? Stephen King would write a novel about it.Coming soon. Or mebbe later. Or quite possibly not at all:
The People Of Warcraft. Just who are
these people Peter is spending his online time with these days? Are there single mothers? Are there the newly redundant thanks to the credit crunch? Is anyone dying of cancer as they shoot monsters across the galaxy? And what about Eastern Europeans?
I think we should be told.
Make no mistake: the December Warcraft intake is now several million people glued to computers and screaming in their lucid moments:"What the fuck has happened to my life??!?"
Dude. LOL. BRB. LMAO. PMSL. LMFAO. Dude.
For of couse there are two levels of deception. Clearly no-one is really an orc. Or a mage. But is the guy who chats about being a big hairy ass builder (and gets my goat up I can tell you) really a big H A B ? Or rather a bank clerk with the doomed RBS? A middle-aged and getting desperate spinster? And what about me?
In IRC in the nineties I made sure I was young and plump. And not plump in a fat way. So what now? In the nineties also I learned to type in character. To lie without lying. So what now? Sixty two or thirty two? Rich or poor? Married or single? Straight or gay? The choice is yours, but whatever the game rules all. It owns us. And owns is a big new usage you could learn. Wicked.
Oh. My. God.
What's to become of us all. And now I must log on. Being off for six hours has been great, but it can't go on. Tonight, before bed, must reach level 54 and then on Thursday 55 and Death Knight. Be very afraid.
Listen. If this is to happen right now you've got to excuse the typing and stuff. If we wait for typographical perfection it just ain't gonna happen. (Says he, after three perfect sentences.)
Reason is my head is full on. Full on, but not with the three pints of cheap lager I#ve just had, the first for over a week. No, not with those, but much morfe iwth the compugter game i logged on tgo at 6 thiw morning, after 5 hours sleep the night before. That's right - cos logging on at 6 gives you a bigger rush. And you get to chat to the redrimmed ones who've been on since the night before. Over nighters.
Owls and larks. But all after tghe same thing - the online high. Just somse of us recognise it and some seem to not.
Oh. Mhy. God.
Eleven million active players.
So not much chance of making friends.
Broken down into discrete servers, not commiunicating except in certain cirucmustances wich I wont bore you with, cos if you are to get anytning from this its the human side.
And ;then, in a masster stroke, comes the software to make Guilds. And that#s where we differ fundamentally from the Doom Leagues amd IRC of the nineties. Becuase the guilds are entirely human - actual people you get to know and type to all day and all night if you want. It is Internet Relay Chat for the new millennium, except with added cartoons and a shared common interest. Interest spelled A.D.D.I.C.T.I.O.N.
All is about encouraging friends to progress in the game. All. Move up levels for better and better experiences. Yet they don't realise, most of them, what the guilds really are, which is shooting galleries for the addicted.
What's to become of us all?
All of Sunday ;was spent playing warcraft. Monday too. And all of Tuesday, ,just to keep tha t progress progressing. Level 45, 46, thden 47 soon later this evening. Darling zoe has just made an olympic leap from floor to chest, totally without claws,k and byupassing Tosh the lpatop completely. Becuase she loses out. As do my once real life friends, one fo thwom kindsly phoned even just earlier today, And not that I had very many a;of those anyway. And then, in no espcial oreder, youo;.
Phones go unanswered, emails unopened, doors never opened but then they never were. No-0ne can invade your loife... no-one that is who doesn't understand. Whjo hasn't got the bug. Whos doesn't "use" him/herself.
I have to go. Three more bars and its level47... where bar means increment on the progress meter, rather than drinking emproriumj.
I see Jade Goody/Tweed is on tghe way out.Shame. I see Grodon was in America seeing Barack. Goodl. Got to go now. Friens has started. It's the only interest I still got left, although mostly i just odnt bother even with that. They'e stareted again. I never can.