Unlike the humorous-then-tedious accidental sword swishes that are regularly heard in DDO as people forget that left-mouse defaults to attack and not camera movement, the advantage to Lord of the Rings Online is that nobody will realise how many times you have tried to tumble your character away from an enemy when you get the two games confused for the umpteenth time.
I blame the me of yesterday completely. He who, in that wanton curiosity for experimentation justly ascribed to the youths of the day before today, decided to download and install the Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited client on a whim. Not to play now of course, but to tuck away ready for when time and circumstances allowed. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t at this moment be faced with a glistening red icon on my desktop that pulses and throbs and moans at me, the desktop equivalent of the hallucinatory writhing TV from the film Videodrome.
Thus I sat on Friday evening, my own Max Renn under the control of the MMOdrome virus with no Bianca O’Blivion to reprogram my malignant massively multiplayer madness, staring at the icon on the desktop which had now manifested itself into my reality as some moist and fleshy thing. I look down in astonishment – through one of those slow motion camera pans – to my hand which is no longer human but an electro-organic amalgam of PC mouse, flesh, tubes and wire. The veins in my arm bulge unnaturally, pumping blood into this gruesome handmouse and down into the thrumming heart of the PC. I move the handmouse in horror, and as I do so I notice the cursor on the screen, now rendered in three disturbingly phallic dimensions, move in accordance with my gesture. The icon flexes and ripples as it senses the proximity of the phallicursor, and somewhere behind me: the muffled wails of a hundred thousand souls in tormented ecstasy. I move the cursor inexorably towards the icon, and the pulsing of each quickens. They pull towards one another as though magnetised, an attraction that was spawned in the darkness and warmth at the birth of all things, and as the cursor penetrates the gaping space of the icon, the fingerbutton of my handmouse spasms and electrical impulses light up the pleasure centres of my soul as the instructions for creation are injected into the womb of the PC and, nine seconds later, a game is born to my eyes. Then, darkness…
I woke up the next morning with a level 2 dwarf monk called Mun Ki, and a serious hangover.
I’m safe in assuming that it happens like this for everyone though, right?