Saturday afternoon and I’m sat at my desk playing SWtor once again, when there’s a knock at the door…
“Uncle Marty!!!”, my nephew exclaims enthusiastically as I open the door, before he bounds in with a barrage of information specifying the events of the past few hours from the wonderful perspective of a 5 year old’s fruitful mind.
After going to shut down my pc to prepare myself for the obligatory Lego building session, I hear from behind me Layton’s curious enquiry when he glances at my screen. “Is that Star Wars?, now you can imagine I’m totally ready to nerd out now, already a fan of other things all star wars related I ask myself the question “Is he ready to play an mmo?”
I hit escape, go to settings>enable profanity filter. “So you wanna make a character Layton?”, the high five and grin that stretches across his face in response is genuinely heart-warming!
“So what character do you want to make?” I ask, “A Jedi!!” he replies, and proceeds to wave his arms around making the clashing & humming sounds of his ‘Air lightsaber’ moves. We make some modifications to his characters appearance, which he is keen to make look like a grown up version of himself. “Time to name him now dude, what shall we call him?”, “erm…. I like painting, so let’s call him ‘Paint’”. Seems as good as any other name I think so we enter it but the name is unavailable… I suggest that as play on his surname we call him “Bringonthepayne” after trying many more taken character names, he agrees and proceeds to vocalise his new creations name with glee!
After a little introduction to the controls, Layton is running around the gnarls beating up flesh raiders. I get a guildie to invite him to my guild and he is greeted with all the affabilityI come to expect from my guild. I encourage him to reply to his new guildies and he types in chat, “Hello, I killed 7 aliens”, a witty guildie replies “well done, that’s 6 more than you’re uncle ever did”, as he giggles, He runs off and continues to explore more of the Tythonian landscape, quickly getting to lvl 5 before having to leave for dinner.
As I was supervising his playtime, my Bro in-law remarked how grown up he looked and took a photo of him playing the game with his uncles ridiculously oversized headphones on, absorbed in the wonderful new world he was experiencing.
He seemed to enjoy the game and it reminded me of when I started playing the game, the wonder and grandeur of it all. It was a time of peace relatively, none of the competitiveness associated with mmo’s in general, just pure immersion. I wish I could experience that feeling again.