May 29th, 2002


I wish the real world would just stop hasseling me.

Well I finally managed to cancel my Everquest account. It had been active for over a year without me using it with any sort of regularity and I'd wanted to cancel it for some time but there was a missing .Dll and I was ambivalent with actually erasing what amounts to a year of my life (more or less). But I made up my mind to finally go through with the deletion and a few minutes ago I reinstalled the program, downloaded the neccesary drivers, logged on, and cancelled my account.

I'm not sure how I feel about it.

I mean it's not like I've been active in EQ for a long time, and it's not like it dominates my thoughts anymore, but it's still a major decision. EQ might have ended up being boring and stressful but for a time it gave me some of the most exciting, and I'd even go so far as to say fulfilling, moments of my life post 1994. It sounds pathetic to say that of a computer game, hell it IS pathetic, but that doesn't make it untrue.

I don't know, I think it's a combination of the fact that skill and dedication mattered in EQ, my desire to live in another time period, the feeling of being an early subscriber and pioneering certain areas/techniques, a bunch of different stuff. There were also the people of many ages from all over the country and eventually the world. The ability to interact with people 10 to 15 years older than myself without age based preconceptions. The whole faceless internet thing.

It was a lot of fun and I can honestly say that while I was much more depressed while I was playing WAY too much, I was also experiencing more powerful emotion than I do these days. Finally making level 50 was probably more exciting than finally getting my GPA over 3.8. Maybe that's because I got to 50 by working hard and focusing while GPA depends much on whim of professor and how the chips fall.

I don't know. I can't possibly hope to explain everything that Everquest was to me. Drug, escapist fantasy, Alternate world, full time job, network of friends, fresh start, accomplishment, feels like a lifetime ago.

A lot of people don't recover from Everquest. They get lost in the expertly crafted world and withdraw completely. I guess in some sense I'm a lucky one in that I managed to kick the monkey off my damned back and get back into society in a reasonably successful manner. I'm thinner, I'm excelling in school, I have a summer job prospect, and when I work my butt off for something these days it's not some digital item in a fantasy world but rather something real in my life. And yet in some ways I am NOT happier, NOT doing better, NOT improved from where I was. But I know I can't go back and I know that in the end I was miserable in that once gorgeous rendered world that had become a prison. And so I cancelled my account today.

But I'm not sure how I feel about it.
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