My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A prequel to the Webseries of the same name by Felicia Day. Reading a graphic novel requires a different technique of appreciation by the reader, which I’m not so used to! It forces you to slow down and really look at each page and panel to absorb the story and recognise the emotions conveyed by the characters drawn on the page.
Here we are introduced to the character of Cyd (Felicia Day) who is struggling with depression and the stresses of the real world. Her boyfriend is a musician, and takes her for granted. Meanwhile, her therapist suggests that she tries to make some new friends. Cyd finds out that there is a computer game where you can literally create yourself from scratch and live a different and fantastical life. Within the game are other players, and these “virtual” friends begin to save Cyd’s life not just in The Game, but in reality. With a Guild of players who are excellent examples of real world personalities, you care about what goes on in their world, both inside and outside The Game.
As a gamer myself (although one who shies away from multiplayer RPGs!), this hits right at home with the reasons why we play. The game world, even though it is full of conflicts and often violence, your achievement are not (always) measured in wealth, but experience points (XP), and when you get knocked down (or even killed) there’s a health potion to make you right again. You can lose yourself in these other worlds for hours and hours.
Within a “massively multiplayer online role playing game” (MMORPG… keep up with the acronyms!) you can truly work on your communication and teamwork when coordinating the efforts of your Guild, to complete the high-level quests. Honestly, there should be real life recognition for online achievements!