The photo above is one of my avatars in the MMORPG ArcheAge. She’s not a rocketeer; I had her swimming in the ocean at night and noticed that if I angled my camera below her, the effect was interesting. Things are kind of nutty in that game right now. The company that runs it is doing some server balancing, consolidating servers that don’t have many players, allowing players a one-time free transfer to a high population server, and opening a “Fresh Start” server, where everyone has to start from level one again. My avatars are all on a server that will merge with another next month. At the same time that people are figuring out what to do, there are three special events underway — a daily anniversary event, a festival event that can be done three times each day, and a daily dragon event that takes place Thursday-Sunday. To get the best rewards, you need to participate frequently (and some of them are definitely worth it). Add those into the daily raids and dungeons that many players run to get materials for endgame gear, plus farming/fishing/trade/piracy or whatever people do to earn ingame money, and it’s fairly chaotic. I’m hoping to get a cloak and weapon from two of the events, but I resent having to arrange my schedule around a game.
Things are more difficult in the real world, though. Jakob is still in the hospital. I need to write to his sister for an update. The last time I heard from her, he wasn’t able to eat or breathe on his own, but he was demanding to be allowed to go home anyway. Meanwhile, I just started physical therapy, overdoing it so badly on the first day that I can barely lift my leg. Whoops. My knee makes a terrible crunching and grinding noise when I bend and straighten it, probably a sign of the arthritis my surgeon told me to expect. I’ll confess to some feelings of disappointment during the past week. Now that I don’t have to use a wheelchair all the time, I can get in and out of the house by myself, I can drive, and I can take my dog for short, slow walks. Woo! But there are so many things I still can’t do because “walking” requires both of my hands. I still need to use my wheelchair for cooking, for example, because I can’t carry a pot two steps from the stove to the sink if I’m standing. It’s summer and I’d like to go to the beach or go kayaking; those are still impossible while I need to use a walker. Today I simply want to stop at a store to pick up three items, but I have no way to carry them. I’m trying to be upbeat and keep doing more of what I can, even as the little frustrations nip at my ankles.
So, back to the virtual world, where I can run, dance, fly, walk, swim, and ride. I rarely sign on to Second Life, but this week I loaned part of my land to one of my husband’s friends for the Twisted hunt that starts next month. (Have you ever done the Twisted hunts? They’re diabolical.) It made me think about the future. I own a big, quiet parcel of mainland space in SL. Jakob used to pay for half of it, but he stopped when he got sick. I can’t justify the monthly tier payment for such a big place, no matter how much I like it. I’ll need to get rid of part of it or come up with a money-making use for the space. It’s unfortunate, because a lot of the mainland is empty — including large areas near my parcel — and I try to keep my land neat and without ban lines. Jakob gets upset when I talk about getting rid of some land, so I’m in a very awkward limbo: I don’t want to upset him by downsizing, but the alternative is that I wait like a vulture for him to be gone.