Saturday, September 27, 2008

From pixel to life

Remember when the computers for the home first appeared? I'm a little foggy but I think it was 80 or so give or take. My first one was a Vic 20, ugly little thing, not much more than a Nintendo with a boxy monitor. Shortly after I recieved that computer I started dwelling into something our local public library was introducing, free public access to files through a modem! wow. It really was the advent of something, who would have thought of what it would become, the internet.

Many years passed. A large part of the internet were online games, or MMO's as we call them. I heard of one, really the first of it's kind and one that took the gaming world by storm, in fact I think it held the record for most consecutive years in operation online. The game is called Ultima Online from Origin later EA Games. I entered that medevial world of monsters, quests, duels, death, and damsels full time just after the beta. The game back then was played mostly on 100MHz computers with 9600 and 28.8k baud modems in those days so game play was sort of like walk 10 steps and freeze for 5. But none-the-less it was fun.

People did alot of different things while playing the game, they hunted together, they fought together or against each other, they traded, bought and sold goods, they stood around in digital towns talking for hours and even constructed player cities and towns where they roleplayed. That's where it began for me and this story. I became a part of a town community in the game and made a few friends and I loved to roleplay with all the chivalry of a knight. I also loved to flirt. You see although it was a digital world, real women were playing as well as us men. Usually, when you get men and women together in any environment there is flirting. I was darn good at it too.

Through-out the years I played UO I flirted my way into over 35 online relationships with only 3 ever spilling out into the real world. Out of the 3 relationships I only met two of the women in "real life". One was a mistake. The reason it was a mistake is we both thought of the other as our characters not the people we really were. That was a tragedy and it also filtered back into the game as well and our freindship ended as well. The last lady I met however was different. We were both married in real life and both very miserable. My wife was an alcoholic and a verbal ass when she was drunk which was almost every day, it was a nightmare! The lady I met, her husband was not all there in the head as I'd call it. He would try to have relations with his step daughter, Susie's daughter from a previous marriage.

It began with conversation, long hours we would sit together in the game in a Saloon called the "Dead Dove". We talked to each other about our problems and comforted each other. Days grew into months and we found that the two of us had so much in common, we would have agreed we both had found our soul mates. For a time Susie had to leave the game, her mother fell ill with cancer and for several months we did not speak. While she was away I found I didn't really want to play the game without her being there and all I would do is log in once a day to see if she had returned, finding she handn't I would log out again. This went on for awhile and then one day she returned, I actually found myself the happiest I'd been in a long time. We took up where we left off and by around xmas of 1999 she had made up her mind to come see me face to face.

She flew into NY on Valentine's day of 2000, her intention was to meet me and see if this was "real" or just more roleplay. Her return trip was booked for two weeks later, she never used it.
She ended up calling her job in CA and telling her supervisor she would not be returning to work. We were married on June 30, 2001 in Niagara Falls, Canada. We love each other more each day and still call each other our "soul mates" and we now live in AZ, happily.

The End!

No comments: