I was 15 and deep in the throes of my EverQuest addiction…
I was participating in my very first raid on the Plane of Hate, a high level dungeon that was insanely hard at the time and required 30+ people. The raid went sour as they often do; poor leadership, excessive greenhorns (like myself), and general chaos plagued the evening. The whole raid was doomed before it even started. Around midnight, the raid had officially wiped and people were attempting to resurrect everyone back to their bodies so they could gather up their gear and call it a night.
The hours had stretched on late into the night, however, and I did the worst thing possible: I fell asleep at my desk.
My character, of course, suffered an agonizing death in the Plane of Hate. This may not seem like a big deal, but this basically meant that:
- I had no easy way of getting back to my body, and thus…
- Everything I had collected over the year (seriously: a whole year) was in jeopardy of being completely lost.
This realization threw me into a panic
I had become so attached to the character that the thought of losing everything, both equipment and progress, was incredibly overwhelming. I was utterly helpless in a way that felt very real to me at the time. No other game has made me feel this helpless since.
To lose everything – and after so much time invested – seemed unfair. Even worse, if I lost everything, I’d basically have to start all over. I would have nothing in my digital realm. At the time, that was a truly frightening realization.
Looking back it now, however, I’m actually frightened by how much of a grip that the game had on me; I was reduced to a real panic at the thought of losing my digital avatar’s stuff.
(And in case you were wondering, I was able to get all of it back and was thus able to continue on my terrible EverQuest addiction for another year and a half. Ugh.)
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