"A whole new world ...
Every turn a surprise,
With new horizons to pursue.
Every moment red-letter.
I'll chase them anywhere.
There's time to spare.
Let me share this whole new world with you."
DAY 72: OK ... so about a week ago, I admitted to being a videogame fan. With that admission out of the way, I can now guiltily confess to spending MANY hours of my spare time (usually during vacations like this one) in the enormous World of Warcraft. WoW is a MMORPG ... for those not in the know, that's a "massively multiplayer online role-playing game." Over 10 million subscribers travel and fight in a HUGE 3-continent world called Azeroth.
Simply put, you travel and fulfill "quests" solo or cooperate with other people online as one of a number of different races - the good guys (like humans, dwarves, and gnomes) or bad buys (like undead, orcs, and trolls). Within each type of character, you can also choose to play as a different class - hunters (who travel with pets that do the up-close fighting while you shoot from a distance ... my favorite), warlocks, mages (extremely powerful wizards), warriors, rogues, priests, shaman, and druids, for example. This offers an enormous array of possible roles and you can play on and off with any number of different characters or "avatars." The longer you play, the more "quests" you fulfill, evil creatures you kill, and places you visit, the higher your experience and level. The higher your level, the more powerful your talents, spells, and equipment can get.
It's really difficult to describe the game or its appeal without using a lot of MMORPG-speak, a language all of its own - though I managed to slip a few special words in there. If you're a gamer, and haven't played WoW, I'd recommend it ... unless you have an easily-addicted personality. It's not affectionately called World of Warcrack for nothing!
I go for VERY VERY long periods of time without playing, but when I get quite a bit of free time (like the next two weeks), I find myself traveling the continents of Azeroth into the wee wee hours of the morning. It's a lot of fun ... if you're into this sort of thing ...
PS ... The picture above is one of my avatars/characters - a hunter from a good-guy race called the Draenei (they're aliens, by the way). In the picture, I'm visiting Greatfather Winter (this fantasy world's version of Santa Claus) who makes an appearance only at this time of year (called the Feast of the Winter Veil) in the game. The big tiger next to my character is my pet, who's a pretty mean fightin' kitty ... wouldn't quest without him :-)