Yeah, I played an MMORPG once. My brother called me up, said he bought it, and thought we could play together. Fair enough. I dropped the $49.95 and thought, “What’s the harm?” Physical, emotional, and marital strife is the answer we’re looking for, folks.
Having played pen and paper RPGs for years, I thought the game was about experiencing a cool story and enjoying cooperation towards common goals. This game shook me out of that illusion with the gentleness of an industrial paint mixer.
One night, my new wife gently said, “Come to bed, honey,” at approximately 11pm. “Just a minute,” I said. Then my stomach roared. It was 3am. I had lost time, like an alien abductee, and the game was as fun as the associated probing would have been. But I had to play on, killing spiders alone in this forest, because some jerkwad with a yellow exclamation mark told me to. And I needed to gain on my brother, who I couldn’t quest with because he was four levels above me and somehow that precluded our teamwork.
Anyway, back to my stomach. I was wrapped around my spine, screaming for food. So, I mashed a bunch of number keys—so my Orc warrior would defend himself for a minute against these eight-legged fools—and sprinted to the kitchen. My bride had bought groceries that day, so I had so many choices. But I had to act quickly, because my kick/stomp combo in the forest would soon run out and my Orc was too dumb to raise a shield against spider fangs. Idiot.
I snagged a handful of deli-sliced salami, like a crackhead raiding a Salvation Army change bin. No order, no decorum, no chewing. I had insect glands to collect…or something. I finished five slices of salami before I made it down the hallway. My warrior was still alive, although assailed by three arachnids while some other players stood there refusing to help me. Apparently teamwork only happens in a 40-man raid. Douche tools. I logged off and went to sleep.
Morning, and a new day. Eight hours in a cubicle thinking of how I’m going to ruin my perfectly good sex life with digital adventure tonight. Then suddenly, pain. I felt a sharp stab just south of my stomach. It last a couple seconds, and subsided. An hour later, it was back, but in a different spot, lower. I was doubling over at work, and coworkers thought I was being exorcised. Again, after lunch, It was on the other side of my abdomen. I was certain I’d be getting an appendix out that day. It repeated throughout the day, the pain moving throughout my GI tract, until I had a swell BM that evening. Before I flushed, I peeked (you always gotta see how you did, amirite?!).
Blood! I stared into the bowl at the string of blood, going through a mental checklist. It’s not a xenomorph, or it would have come out my chest. I haven’t eaten glass. Nobody punched me in the kidney. You know, the obvious. Then it hit me. The red stuff wasn’t diffusing in the liquid like it should. I got a closer look, and saw it wasn’t blood. It was the plastic ring around the salami that some deli meathead didn’t take off before slicing it (and that some gamer meathead didn’t notice as he choked it down).
Yes, I ingested plastic and risked bodily harm in order to save my Orc avatar from having to resurrect at a fictional graveyard.
Yeah, I played an MMORPG once. And I don’t do that anymore.