Escaping Reality: Confessions of a Ragnarok Online Ex-Player

Video games...one of the most successful inventions of man to escape monotony. I remember back in the 2003 or 2004, I started playing Ragnarok Online, this was my first MMORPG, and I never thought I could enjoy a game so much to neglect my life and become one with this charming universe. It was a time when I was depressed, and unhappy with where my life was heading. So I decided to take refuge in 2D sprites, crazy Korean music composition and grinding like crazy to level 99.

The routine felt so good

Every single day I would wake up to my Assassin (there were not even 3rd classes by that time) and solo some bosses, from Eddga to Baphomet. People around me saw me as an inspiration, internationally and even more in a local server in Panama, my country...it felt good...

One day I was invited to one of the top guilds at that moment in RO. We fought on a very popular update called the war of Emperium, in which some cities had castles to be conquered by guilds, we fought valiantly and conquered Prontera for many months, people wanted to come join us, the messaged us, stalked us....and it felt good...

The power felt so good

I felt the need for more power, rise in the ranks, but then life, got in the middle of my Ragnarok. So since life was getting in the middle, I created an army of bots. I don't even remember how the program was called, but I tweaked it so good that I had 15 bots raiding Ant Hell. They were intelligent and knew how to behave when real players called them bots, they knew which items to pick up and which ones to leave, and also how to walk to a near Kafra to deposit everything the picked...I was doing 500 millions+ weekly, I had so much zenys, that I could buy healers to come heal me for 500k+ and hour while I power leveled in places I could not handle by my own. There was nothing I coudn't acquire in the game, for me or my friends. I knew I wasn't being a honest about my activities, it was a total mafia...but...it felt good, and more rewarding than life at that moment.

I was losing my life one day at a time, and gaining power in my alternate virtual life one day at a time.

Becoming Seth felt so good

Yes, it felt good to escape reality back then, but obviously...I was paying a price. A very high price. My friends (real life ones) came to try make me stop playing, like an intervention, but they had no success, I failed my first semester at college, and had no desire to get a job and do something, because I was becoming Seth, little by little, I was fusing with Seth to become one.

Ragnarok Online became a drug

Have you ever played a game so hard, that you saw bosses while walking on the street? Well...I did, and I was not on drugs (not yet at that time at least...).

Thank god, there were no in game transactions at that time, or else, I know I would have stolen my moms credit card and spent who knows how much on luxury and in game items.

Everything seemed to appealing about this world, and then suddenly, one day, being big and famous in Panama (they even called me for my in game Suddenly I was disconnected like Neo was from the matrix, and I saw the real world again...and it didn't feel good...

Picking up the pieces didn't felt good

I was blinded by the charm of RO, I can't say I felt that I lost around 2 years of my life, because I still treasure those days, but still, I learned the hard way that I cannot replace my reality with virtual worlds.

I made my mom suffer, my friends felt left behind (I have always been the clown in the group, making everyone laugh), and I had learned nothing in 2 years of college, except for how to solo doppelganger and which cards were needed to own any knight with a crit assassin.

Nope, I'm not whining, RO is a great game, just confessing something that could help others not fall into the pitfall of becoming one with a virtual world...we cannot escape reality forever...but I will still escape it tonight playing Diablo 3, whos with me??