My to-do list grows everyday. I own my house. I have a girlfriend. I have friends. I try to be a good son, brother, uncle, friend and member of my community. I have a lot of shit that I need to do. I could spend most of my time working in the backyard, or training, or cleaning, or just helping little, old ladies. I have shopping lists, laundry lists and honey-do lists galore.
So why am I sitting here, plugged into some digital, time-wasting device?
I have to admit that first and foremost, I play these games for memories. I started playing EQ after I was discharged. I remember friends talking about it. I was lonely and bored and decided to give it a try. And then some cute, barbarian chick handed my avatar a shield in the newbie area outside Halas. I am ashamed to admit it, but I had a bit of a crush on her pixalated image. We soon became friends, as I did with her cousin and her other friends.
My non-digital friends thought I was stupid for playing an online game, if they even knew what one was. They saw no value in having "digital" friends. But I have many fond memories of getting up hours before dawn, or playing through the night, just to spend time with these digital friends...
I miss those days. I miss those friends. But I have tons of great memories and I miss lots of people, not just in the digital world. Why am I still subscribing and grinding?
It's sad to say, but I feel like I actually get stuff done in an MMO and feel productive. It's not like the real world where everything continuously needs to be repeated and maintained. Those digital swords don't rust or lose their edge. That twentieth-level skill doesn't either. My toons keep getting more and more powerful while in my real life, my heroic opportunities seems to fade and become fewer and farther between.
I will never be the elite soldier I had once been. I will never be able to do more than a hundred push-ups in a minute, or break a six-minute mile. But I can grind my little guild to thirtieth level, earn kindred reputation in Rivendell or maybe even increase my noble presence. And I won't wake up one morning and find that my guild is back to tenth level, or that Elrond hates my character, or that I lost noble presence while I was asleep.
And heck, I can do chores and workout during loading screens.