One Autumn a few years back I was searching around for something new to play and stumbled upon Lord of the Rings Online. I decided to give it a shot and after a day or two learning the ropes, joined a kinship (read guild) that had been advertising in one chat or another. About fifteen minutes later a guy linked a sword a few levels above my character in the chat and asked if anyone wanted it for free. Not being one to turn down a hand out I promptly snapped up the offer and promised to put it to good use in a few levels time.
On I quested until I noticed my inventory was very nearly full. I found the first vendor I could and without thinking hit the sell all button, trading all my junk as well as the pristine sword for a measly amount of silver. It wasn’t until I reached the level and went to equip the weapon that I realised my grave error; and by then it was too late. I decided not to panic and instead headed to an auction house with the goal of purchasing another one and no-one would be any wiser. I couldn’t find a sword exactly the same as the one that I had mistakingly sold but I found one with similar stats and most crucially, the same weapon model. It would have to do, who would be paying attention anyway?
Turns out the guy who gave me the sword was definitely paying attention. About 15 minutes after equipping I got a message simply asking what happened to the sword. I thought about lying about it, about convincing him that the fake sword was in fact the real one; but honestly, what’s the point? It’s a collection of pixels among a much larger collection of pixels, it’s ultimately meaningless. I decided instead to just tell him the truth.
Turns out he found the story hilarious and found my massive cover up attempt endearing. This led a day or two later to him having an alt around the same level as me and him asking if I fancied levelling with him. I said yes and somehow the decision was made to head onto Skype to save time instead of typing back and forth.
Cutting a long story short; we’ve been together almost five years and my life has changed drastically; moving in directions I never thought it would have. Moving to Sweden for 3 years being the biggest of the bunch.
Games, and the encounters they create can definitely be life changing experiences. I don’t really play LotRO that often anymore, but every now and again we’ll go back together and spend some time in the place that started it all for us. Without the game, we’d never had met.
I love hearing stories about how games have changed lives, so leave yours in the comments or send them to me on Twitter! @jstJSH