Ealsweettartwen, Knight of Destiny known throughout Middle Earth as a semi-passable lore master. By no means the greatest, but reliable in a pinch. You may have to listen to such catchphrases as “How do I use that skill?” or “what button is that?” However, she tried and learned from her mistakes. 

Knights of Destiny was my first home in Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) (Standing Stone Games, 2019). When I say home, I mean it. It was the first place that I made friends. They provided me a place to grow my skills and really start to understand what gaming meant to people. You do build friendships and get to know people on a real level even though it is through the internet. 

Previously, I talked about a philosophical theory known as hyperrealism. Jean Bulliard wrote Simulacra and Simulation in 1981 (Baudrillard & Glaser, 2006). It talks about how reality and non-reality blend until people are unable to distinguish between the two. He argues that we use symbols and signs instead of reality and meaning. Culture and media determines and constructs our reality, which means reality is not real. I promise that this is circling back to the Knights of Destiny at some point. 

When you create a game character, it becomes the manifestation of our dream self. Looking at the character screen, you get to personalize the character into whatever you want based on the preprogrammed confines. Face shape, body shape, hair color, eye color, and more are changed until the perfect character is made. 

Next you get to determine what type of character, or class, to play. Do you want to be a soldier, a guard, healer, support, or a leader? Maybe this is a reflection of your personality. Maybe you are a more compassionate person that chooses to heal people in battle instead of fighting. Perhaps you want to protect the rest of the group by taking the main attention of the enemy. Could this reveal who you are as a person? Maybe reality and nonreality have blurred and that character is a symbol of you that is now the reality. Or maybe it is just a game.

That did take a bit of a turn, but the reason that I talked about it was that Eals seemed real on some days. It was with Eals that I gained confidence and interacted with people on a daily basis. However, things come to an end at some point. As much fun as it was, the Knights of Destiny would eventually meet its downfall. My initial home was no longer, and it was time to find a new one. Enter the realm of the Guardians of Fangorn, where I became a leader.

 

References

Baudrillard, J., & Glaser, S. (2006). Simulacra and Simulation. Retrieved from Michigan Publishing University of Michigan Press: https://www.press.umich.edu/9900/simulacra_and_simulation

Standing Stone Games. (2019). Lord of The Rings Online

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