Monday, October 25, 2004

The Amazing Askal Archon

Info booth
Originally uploaded by Jepster.
Woohoo! Askal Archon, my super hero character in the MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) City of Heroes ranked 3rd in the Top Victors in Steel Canyon for the month. Yeah you heard me right. Not for the week or for the day, the whole month! I feel so happy. I know it's strange. It's like I have this feeling of accomplishment. My hours spent vanquishing dastardly villains finally paid off. Sorry, it occurred to me that you probably have no idea what I'm talking about. To put it in simple terms:

* I play a game online with hundreds of other players.
* The game involves playing as a superhero character of one's own creation (complete with outrageous costumes, masks and super human powers).
* My character was included as the top 3 player for the month in a particular area.
* I am currently ecstatic about said "accomplishment".

Hmm... it's suddenly not so interesting when I put it that way. I actually find it a bit disturbing that the highlight of my week includes making the top 3 rank on an online game. It could be a sign that I should improve my social life a bit more. Having characters with names like Acid Man, Mr. Sparky and McEleven in my friend's list in the game hardly qualifies as normal social interaction.

My brother was observing me playing the game the other day. He found it odd that our team wasn't talking to each other during the game aside from the usual, "Attack!!!", "[Please] heal me", "Waaaaah!" (that could either be my battle cry to lead my men into battle or my cry of retreat with a bunch of enemies hot on my heels). Just how much social interaction could you get from an online game anyway? A typical team would start with somebody approaching you and asking "Team?" and you would reply with something like "k" then viola you're now a team! Ok I have to admit that some players do attempt to have a decent conversation and I'm probably more laconic than most players in the game. You then start running around killing.... err, I mean "arresting" villains and pester other players you pass by to make them join your team.

In the game, you can be whoever you want to be. Chances are you don't even know how old the other person playing the game. He or she could be 14 or 41 and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference - I have seen my nephew played the game and he's about 8. The only thing that clued me in was that he kept bumping on stuff. You probably don't also know what timezone he is playing from. I joined this team once where I had to leave because I had to eat dinner. One player exclaimed "It's way to early for dinner man. Haven't eaten breakfast yet". I told him that it was already 9 in the evening and I was very hungry. He said "What!! 9pm?? That's crazy!". I guess nobody told him yet that the earth is round. And lastly, you can't even be sure of that sexy heroine you are playing with (I mean the game) is actually a "She" and the other way around.

Social interaction or not, the game is fun and I can't wait to play again tonight. Hmm... perhaps I could even make a mini blog for Askal :D

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