I was part of a hardcore online gaming commune once. We lived in an old house in a suburb of Salt Lake City, derelict but fitted with top-of-the-line wifi hotspots. There were a dozen of us, and the schedule was tight; 16 hours a day of gaming was a minimum. Crafting, farming, hunting, questing. Week in, week out. It was hard, but it gave me a sense of accomplishment, I was somebody in the world of the digita. Plus making money.
One time, everybody went to this con and I was home alone with my Guildmaster’s girlfriend. We were questing, but taking it easy, joking all the time on our headsets (she was upstairs).
“Imma send a bunch of trolls your way using Panic,” I said, “You ready?”
“Yep,” I imagined her face, screwed and wired for combat.
“Here goes,” I said.
“Ow, that’s massive.”
“That’s what she said,” I cracked a retro joke.
“My, you’re getting rowdy, mister,” she said.
“I didn’t do nothing.”
“Well then, why don’t you?” she taunted.
I imagined myself climbing upstairs and throwing her on the bed, then getting my war machine out and shoving it between her tits. Except I immediately realized my prick was in reality tiny and sweaty, and my atrophied body was incapable of throwing anything, let alone anybody.
So what was left? Cybersex? My Guildmaster would pwn me all the way to Carceri if he ever found out. How does one define real courage?