One night while playing WoW I thought I felt something shake. No, it wasn't an earthquake, although living in Las Vegas we do feel the rumblings of the California soil once in a while. We actually have a lively geological history in Nevada, but I digress.
I felt something.
Have you ever played on a PlayStation or XBox? You know, the controllers can actually shake, but they are designed that way, a computer's keyboard and mouse are not (as far as I know). One lonely, dark night in Azeroth I was battling some random world elite who had the ability to stomp, or pound or slam or whatever, I don't pay much attention to those details. One particular stomp I swear I felt it. It wound its way from the programming code onto my monitor and from there through the cables of my keyboard and my mouse to my unguarded and unexpected fingers.
I felt it, I know I did.
That was a long time ago, hence my lack of detailed memory. But the details matter not when body and soul both tell me that I felt it. Was it more than just a big hit? Oh yes indeed. It was an energy flowing through my fingers, up my arms, through muscle, bone and sinew until finally reaching some hidden part of my brain it sent me a message...life.
Maybe it was my first experience with game-immersion, and if so then the reality of it was then undeniable. It was like a quicksand that told tales of knighthood, honor, courage, unmatched skill, hope and life...much unlike the actual message of Earth's quicksand which whispers despair, pain, suffering, and solitude. No, this was a quicksand that would draw me under this world's surface to an underworld of fantasy and excitement.
I'll always remember that night, I know I felt something, I just know it. There have been moments of prolonged silence since then (aka boredom) but that was my fault. I forgot to talk back to the whispered messages that once flowed from my fingertips to my mind. I force myself to go back there, to that time and place. Yes, I talk to the whispers, to the familiar voices of honor, excitement, hope and of course life. I talk to them because they once made me feel alive, they made me feel life in this game and it felt good.
As Shakespeare put it in his extraordinary work of Hamlet: "Though this be madness, there is method in 't."
Call me crazy, that's ok with me. But I know I felt it, and I won't budge. I still speak to the whispers. Why? Because they searched for countless years for me until they finally found me, alone, in the dark forest, in courageous battle, and said "there is life in here, let me show you and may you feel it."
I did. And I still do.