Virtual with a Vengeance

Back in the 1990s, I used to joke that I lived much of my life virtually. When I wasn’t caring for kids or working at the U, I could be found in online forums like those at iVillage and other, even more fantastical virtual locations like the dock on the Oasis of Marr in Everquest. Screenshot of my character from early Everquest

Now we’re all going virtual with a vengeance – Zoom meetings populate everyone’s online calendar and shared Google Drives allow us to coordinate efforts from miles apart. For my part, I’ve been doubling down on my early love of the possibilities we can find online in this pandemic: with incorporating more game-based learning, recording a lot of short, simple videos, and brushing up on other techniques. all hoping to cultivate our learning community in the online world. Although I’ve presented virtually before at a wonderful conference on the Old Bailey, it’s still a brave new world to have Zoom conferences (with very little schmoozing opportunities).

But it’s a whole new ball game to be managing everything without access to my office (old/current or new/awaiting move-in indefinitely due to COVID-19 interruptions), my books (even though I hauled a huge bag home of the ones that I knew I’d need), and my colleagues who are in and out of the virtual space as much as I am. I even missed out on some of my own virtual appointments: a Wednesday morning social meeting passed me by after I stepped into our basement storage room for no more than ten minutes and emerged over an hour later.

At least my commute is super-short! Makes more time to squeeze out some new adventures in the ongoing saga of Everquest!

4 Comments

Filed under academe, teaching

4 responses to “Virtual with a Vengeance

  1. Bardiac

    Are you still playing? I remember taking the boat for the first time from Faydark. Scary as all get out! And running across the Commonlands! (What was the fortress area you had to go through were all the doggish MOBs killed me so often? I used to sleep on the rock out in the ocean so the Sand Giants wouldn’t get me…

    • J Liedl

      I’m playing again – they have a new feature called “Time Limited Progression” servers where you get three months of original EQ, 3 months of Kunark, 3 months of Velious, etc., etc. It’s a blast to be back in old zones (levelling up a new enchanter in Unrest!) and getting really excited about basic loot like a Savant’s Cap.

      Yes, all the scary memories of the old days when you could only meditate by opening your spellbook so you sat blind to all around you? The Commonlands is still very busy since most people buy & sell stuff in the tunnel to North Ro. They’ve made some things easier – you don’t leave your stuff on your corpse when you die, so no corpse runs to Fear on an endless loop! Also, at level 5 or 6, everyone, even melee types!, gets the ability to Origin back to their hometown.

      Ah, but still, I can die a lot. My druid died to a named griffin in the Karanas the other day: I got cocky and took on something too tough for me to handle. We don’t see so many giants in the Oasis of Marr (now incorporated into South Ro), but Lockjaw is pretty scary if you’re only level 15.

      Hmm, not sure of which fortress you’re talking about. Maybe you’re thinking of Karnor’s Castle, with the drolvargs? Or running through the Gnolls of Blackburrow to get between Everfrost & Surefall Glade?

  2. Bardiac

    I was thinkning of Karnors! I almost never went to Blackburrow; it was just too darned scary!

    And what’s the one that turns super scary at night? Right near the Hobbit starting place? (When I was playing, i could name all the places, and didn’t think I’d ever forget their names or anything. And now… I remember visuals, but not names.) And the place with the Brownies? They whapped me SO hard when I was a baby druid!

    • J Liedl

      That’s Kithicor Forest – fairly benign by day & full of scary undead by night. Lesser Faydark, with the corrupted brownies & all that? Still scary although we run across it fairly often because Mistmoore is a great zone to get experience when you’re still not powerful enough for Lower Guk.

      Gah. I really know my Everquest geography far too well!