In response to "Those Left Behind" from The Escapist Forum: A good piece, and one that does remind me of when I was somewhat hooked on a MUD (don't laugh ... or at least, not too hard). Anyway, this is the problem with virtual world leisure times - they take you away too much from the troubles of this one, so much so that your real life can suffer badly. I got off lightly, and I didn't have a wife to worry about leaving me, but I can easily see how such activities can led to wrecked lives.

Reading your piece, I have to wonder if, when I eventually find myself with a girlfriend or wife, if I should give up or reduce gaming (although I'm not on any MMO), or if I should go the opposite way and try and draw them into it.

- Doug

A really great piece. Thanks for making me feel less alone. Though the "EQ" addiction my husband suffered is years behind us, I too struggled with the sense of selfish-ness since I was a gamer too.

As such, things like WoW Widows (which didn't even exist then as far as I know) were not for me. After all, I don't hate gaming. I love it. ^_^

- Midnghtjade83

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In response to "Penning the Perfect Fanfiction" from The Escapist Forum: I may have tried to read this on my lunch break at work. I may also have wound up looking like a lunatic laughing hysterically while choking on cornbread.

I shall take your excellent advice as soon as I get home. I'm seeing an unlikely romance between Kairi and Thrall. I'm envisioning it unfolding in the Star Wars universe... You see, Kairi can travel between worlds, and Azeroth is actually in the Outer Rim....

I'm gonna be a hero.

- Solipsis

Writing original fiction is both harder and easier than writing fanfic; they both have their challenges. With original fic you have to create everything from scratch, and yes, you have everything "laid out on a plate" with fanfic. But the thing to remember is that writing well within the confines of an existing property can be even harder than writing from scratch. You have to adjust your mindset to fit into the established universe, and characterisation in particular becomes very difficult - not least because there are hundreds of readers who will be intimately familiar with the canonical portrayals of the character, and will spot the slightest thing that sounds wrong.

So yes, the prep work is done. But challenges remain.

- awmperry

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