Ten years ago my ex-husband and I separated for a while. We were not getting along so he moved in to another house and I moved in to Silvermere.
Silvermere was an imaginary town in a multi-user dungeon (MUD) called Major Mud. Every day I would log on to the bulletin board hosting the text-based role-playing game and become a fearless, self-sacrificing, compassionate, good aligned, imaginary person.
Within a very short time I attracted a stronger character to me and he helped me gain power and strength in the game. He also fell in love with me. I grew very fond of him too as we travelled the realm together killing monsters and complimenting each other.
I was one of the first to begin playing the game so all the most important items in the game were still waiting to be found. I had chosen my character well, by accident, so I swiftly got stronger and more powerful than the characters who befriended and helped me. This led to other strong characters seeking my help to explore the realm and defeat the more powerful monsters.
My real life was unhappy and confusing so I spent more and more time in Silvermere getting experience and wealth. Within a few months I was the highest, most powerful, character in the “land” and other players fawned on me and deferred to me.
I started a gang and players began begging me to be allowed to join. I dictated the rules of the land and everyone else followed. People were kind to each other and to new players. Anyone who offended or insulted me, or behaved badly, tended to get assassinated by the two males who had appointed themselves my protectors. They saw their role as doing the dirty work I did not want done, but which they felt had to be done, to maintain order in the land according to my wishes. They had all the help they wanted to police the realm too.
The only players foolish enough to challenge me or disobey my orders to play nicely were all young males and, unknown to me, my two male protectors swiftly took care of them. They saw to it none of these threats lived long enough to get powerful enough to overthrow me. This all resulted in two female players surviving long enough to get as strong as me but they were no threat. They joined my gang and accepted my leadership. In time my daughter began playing too and I was very happy in Silvermere.
Until the snake entered the realm.
He was a friend of one of the two females and she dedicated herself to helping him get up in the world. He dedicated himself to winning over the more powerful characters including me and the other top player who was also female.
It wasn’t long before he had my friendship along with his original friend and he started an affair of the heart with the third female. In real life she was married with two children and so was he. They became “lovers” in Silvermere and, soon after, in real life.
He was an evil man in the game and even more evil in real life but I did not see it.
In time, thanks to the ties he created with the two other players, he became the strongest character in the imaginary land and he encouraged lying, stealing, killing and other things I hated. He also attempted to seduce my daughter into a three-way affair, in real life, with him and his new lover.
My time in Silvermere had allowed me to ignore the condition of my marriage and my ex found a new woman. When I discovered that, and the attempted real-life seduction of my 16 year old daughter by my so-called friends, things got ugly. My marriage ended completely and I moved away from Silvermere and away from my real life. At the age of 40 I left town, alone, and started a new real life as a divorced woman.
The other day, in an attempt to find something “fun” to do that could replace the “fun” of my gambling addiction, I went looking online for Silvermere and Major Mud. I did not find them but I found a land called “Hollow”.
The past few days I have been indulging in more role-play and, already, I have been invited into a powerful gang. I have been given equipment, money, and assistance. There are two males offering to dedicate themselves to caring for, and protecting me, the top characters in the land have told me to call them if I need help and I can already find my way around.
After my last experience with this type of game I wonder why I am doing this. The answer is, I suppose, the same as last time. I am unhappy and confused in my real life and seeking an escape.
I have never considered myself one of Jesus’s “Disciples”. When he was on this earth there were thousands who worshiped him but a mere 12 were chosen to be his disciples to do his work on earth. The rest were commanded to be “salt” making the earth a more palatable place to be. I have always viewed my role as “salt”.
Recently God has been challenging me about this perception of my role, amongst other things, and I am feeling a strong drive to escape from reality. It’s hard enough coping with being a problem gambler without feeling I am letting God down too now.