Saturday, October 2, 2010

Beauty Breathes, Day 11: Dark Confessions and Epic Elvin Love Poetry

Beauty Breathes, Day 11: Dark Confessions and Epic Elvin Love Poetry

I think the time has come to talk publicly about Fleah.

I don't often discuss about this part of my life because I feel like there's still a stigma attached to it--but I am a lady gamer. A few years ago, when I got bored with Tomb Raider and the like, I started playing a very popular MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Game). Although my husband is an old hat at these, I wasn't familiar with them at all, so for help, I joined a role-playing guild, in which members support each other in developing and carrying out story lines for their characters. I was bored by the common specter of the beleaguered, heavy-hearted warrior, or the mysteriously scarred and tormented orphan who was really a descendent of great magicians, and other such role-playing cliches. I was having a hard time deciding who I wanted my Elvin Druid Fleah to be when one day, while she was hunting for pearls along the coast, she stopped suddenly to admire her fingernails. In that moment, Fleah came to full fruition in my imagination.

She soon became my alter-ego, a part of me that I could never express or fully embody in this life—a true free spirit, in love with love, completely enraptured by the finer things in life, and in the midst of constant war, death, and chaos, exclusively focused on what she finds to be beautiful. Yes, she's a bit of an under-geared liability in battle, has no patience for political engagement, tends towards the superficial, and is overly fond of Pinot Noir--but she's a comfort and a bright light to all around her. She liberally provides love advice, urges her heartbroken friends to flirt shamelessly as a “cure”, sees only the good in the men and women around her, and regularly terrorizes total strangers with her awful epic Elvin love poetry because she can't believe that everyone in the world is not as madly in love with love as she is. She is easily enraptured by beautiful clothes and elegant jewelry, and there is nothing she loves more than a grand party.

Through Fleah, I get to say and be things that I can't possibly say or be as someone with my essentially depressive and introverted temperament (not to mention my fashion challenges). Yet, when I'm playing her, her exuberance flows out my keyboard effortlessly. I would love to embody her total joy, conviction and purity of being; her uninhibited and outgoing personality. But I am me--shy, a natural worrier, given to bitterness, grudges and easy discouragement. Fleah is a hurricane of kindness and beauty. She's so much fun to drive around that weird little electronic world, and although I have very little time for her these days, she remains my secret art project, my go-to when I need to escape for while into pure optimism. It's my hope that maybe someday I can carry part a of Fleah with me into this world, to channel her best qualities in times my of need.

--Kristen McHenry

Note: If you're a women who is curious about online gaming, check out these terrific sites:

Women Gamers
Lady Gamer

No comments: