My iPhone is indispensable. It passes its idle hours in a studded pink leather case that clips to my belt or slips sinuously into my handbag. During meetings I consult the calendar or set up a reminder. During a lunch hour I make Facebook updates and add comments to my friends’ Facebook updates. I check personal emails, take odd snapshots, send ironic texts to friends, and add to my shopping list. Oh and occasionally I might telephone someone.
Most recently I have become enamoured of a role playing game, Quest. While my husband watches television I play the game. As a ‘reward’ for completing monotonous chores I play the game. When I need to escape from the vanilla reality of suburban life I play the game. I am new to rpgs, so this is a voyage of discovery.
My character is Analia, a Derth (but with nice hair, of course!), a mystic, an explorer, and a warrior. My ultimate quest is to rescue the Governor of Freymore, but I’ve barely progressed as along the way I have met people who needed help and have taken up their cause. I have slaughtered Orcs, evil Shaman, various skeletons, ghosts and ghouls. I have gathered plants and concocted potions, discovered booty and gambled at cards. I have collected amulets and armour, and found, bought and sold weapons and magic wands. Analia is known as a strong warrior woman, popular with townsfolk and only rarely in trouble with the local soldiers. She is a person who strives to maintain some integrity.
I started playing the game as an experiment in cognitive behavior modification. I wondered, Would the act of playing at being someone strong and independent cultivate some of those skills in my brick-and-mortar self? And strangely, somewhat surprisingly, the answer seems to be Yes.