A long time ago in a lifetime far, far away . . . yeah, I know. It’s cheesy George Lucas, but that’s where I am today. When my son was nine years old, he introduced me to a text game on our local BBS (Bulletin Board System for those of you who weren’t even a sparkle in your father’s eye at the time). The only people using the internet back then were college students and government workers and the recreation on the server was MUD (Multi-User Dungeon for those not of the geek persuasion). It came in lots of different shapes, sizes and types.

The best thing about MUDs were they were easy to program and easy to make new worlds for. After all, the only requirements were imagination and being able to type. If you had any intelligence at all, you could tell how each of the world, item, MOB, etc. files were coded – it was all ASCII text.

In this time before the internet, you called up your local BBS for social recreation when it was either too late to be out or you had kids in bed and work the next day. So it was my nine year old son who taught me how to play CircleMUD, mainly so I could be a Cleric and heal him as he tore up the towns.

Unlike my son, however, I stayed with the game for several years. I was a God in some versions, created new zones for others – there were always a large amount of different MUDs to choose from. As my health became more stable, however, I didn’t have as much time to devote to the game. About the same time my son started playing first person shooter Nintendo games and the rest is history; the internet we see today.

I never made the transition from text to graphic games. When my son started playing Golden Eye 007, just watching him made me nauseous. The screen went by so fast I couldn’t get my bearings and had to turn away. I decided I would simply be one of those people who couldn’t switch over to graphic games.

Later, when Facebook started putting graphic games online, I started playing Restaurant City – a likable little cooking game. At least until EA got it’s greedy hands on it. Soon after it was sold by Playfish, things went downhill and the game was removed by EA. Having noticed a trend in professional gaming companies to try and suck people dry until they no longer wanted to play their games, I swore off Facebook games.

Having been a Eureka fan for a while, I became a fan of Felicia Day when she started doing guest shots on the series. This led to the Geek & Sundry channel on YouTube and many other pleasure entertainment pursuits. Her YouTube series The Guild was funny and while I could appreciate some of the jokes from being a MUD player, I still had no idea what World of Warcraft was like. With my health being in the state it’s in, I figured now would be the best time as any to learn. I finally had tech that would meet the minimum requirements to play the game and an operating system that didn’t make my life a living hell trying to connect to the server. (BTW, if anyone would like to buy me a nice, new gaming computer, please feel free to do so.)

I don’t actually personally know anyone who plays World of Warcraft. I’m 53 years old. Most of the people my age are playing with their grandchildren. Lucky for me, I didn’t give birth to my son straight out of high school, I waited until the ripe old age of 26. He graduated with his Engineering/Physics degree a couple years ago and just like I did he works 18 hours a day trying to make ends meet. He’s not much gaming help to me.

For those of you who don’t play WoW, the part that allows you to play with other people costs $15 per month on the Blizzard server. Since I have to budget my money wisely, I figured I should just jump right into the trial they offer (20 levels for free!) and see if it was a pursuit worth picking up.

Shavai - Human PriestI created my character, leveled it up to seven and upon realizing I wasn’t getting nauseous decided to take advantage of the $9.99 digital download they offer when you play the trial version. That’s pretty cheap for a video game considering I’d probably never look at the books that came with the software anyhow.

The thing I liked most about it was Blizzard keeps all your gaming information on their servers – what you’ve purchased, all your characters. If my tech decides to take a nose dive (and if you knew how old it was, you’d understand) all I have to do is download the program again on the replacement computer (or something like that – I’m sure a call to tech support will ensue).  BTW, you will wind up having to call Blizzard if you start with the trial so your character can be consolidated into the one digital purchase account.  My experience with their customer service was incredibly happy.  In my book, good customer service is usually the hallmark of a good product.

So I’m good for a month. While everyone else is playing the new add-on Mysts of Pandaria I’m running around some world that comes with the Battle Chest Starter Edition (Dalaran). The sad thing is if I decide to switch to the Mysts (which I’m sure will be offered to me at a discount at some point along with the other add-ons I don’t own), I have to start a new character. It doesn’t look that hard. I’ve only played a couple of hours and my priest is up to level 9 and that’s without knowing anything about the game other than point and kill all by myself. I just figured out how to reply to a message today. Grouping with someone is going to require reading the directions though. LOL!

Yes, there are a hundred other things I need to learn about World of Warcraft, but I’ve got plenty of time to learn them with my current physical challenges. The funniest thing I got stuck on yesterday was figuring out that once you get up to level three, you have to click on the name of the quest you are completing in order to get your goods. 🙂 That’s what happens when you first switch over from a text based game to a graphic game. You don’t know where the heck anything is or how to use it. I hope it doesn’t take forever to learn all the little things.