My first MMORPG was Everquest. My wife bought it for me as a present just a year after our marriage, and somehow the marriage survived. It proved costlier than a normal game, because it wouldn’t run on my computer at the time. That was the first of a few times I had to upgrade to a new computer due to a game I wanted to play. I joined the MMO community on Halloween night, 1999, and stepped right into a GM event, an undead invasion.
Years went by and I eventually retired, twice, from Everquest after many expansions. I’ve kept lifelong friendships from that day, even visited several in Real Life. The virtual world offers its own quirks, half-truths, and illusions…yet it has spawned an amazing community. “It’s only a game,” they say, but they don’t know what they’re talking about. That was proved again only recently.
Just recently, on Facebook, someone created a group called EQ Brell Nostalgia. Brell Serilis was the name of the server I played on. When EQ lost numbers, the server ended and all characters were transferred to Cazzic Thule. When this group hit Facebook, it went through the old Brell Serilis community like wildfire. Hundreds of players, many long since retired from EQ, joined this Facebook community within the first few days. A week later, I believe the membership is around a thousand.
People are posting and talking about the “good ol’ days” on the server. They are looking up old acquaintances, posting old pics, and asking a lot of “Do you remember…” questions. I rediscovered some old friends I hadn’t heard from in years. I joined in on a few discussions, only to receive several hundred e-mail notifications from those conversations. My mailbox has been spammed!
I think it’s amazing that such a gaming community has spontaneously reunited after so many years. We all have so many memories and precious moments from a GAME.
Who knows, maybe more gamers may try something similar depending on what game and server they enjoyed. Whatever happens, this just validates that these experiences go beyond just the game. For a time, this was our lifestyle, our hobby, and our community.
Brell Serilis, you won’t be forgotten.