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Tao of the Hunt

by A Shriner

I enjoy pkilling. While after 20 years of gaming (mostly RPGs) I always appreciate the game, of course (or why bother playing it), there is something specific that draws me continuously back to the hunt of another player.

I'm not going to attempt to play morality games with you and justify what I do . You are mature enough to read this, and I'm sure you can draw your own conclusions. I'm simply going to give you a glimpse into that which you loathe, despise, and yet, are oddly curious about. All I ask is that as you read with scorn and derision, you ask yourself why you persist in applying real-world morality to the gaming world. Are you so desperate in your beliefs that you cannot accept that part of the fantasy as well?

An ordinary guy.

I'm not evil by nature, certainly not in real life. One thing you have to be careful to do is disassociate the game world from the real. It's a game. Some play to role-play, some play to be part of a community, I play to be feared. I enjoy those other aspects too, of course, but they pale in comparison to the thrill of the hunt. But if you find yourself upset in real life because you were pkilled, or displaying any other abnormal feelings or traits that give you pause while you pkill, step back, breathe deeply, and play some Tetris or something.

Does it bother your sense of reality that I'm just a normal, everyday guy, working behind a desk 50 hours a week and married? That I have short-cropped hair and wear collared shirts? That I have more suits than t-shirts? That I have degrees on my wall, and a group of normal friends? Ahh, you expected Charles Manson, perhaps. I wish I could help you, but I'm not wired "wrong," or anti-social, or sacrificing cats in the background to the light of red and black candles while chanting the 32nd Psalm backwards. In fact I'm listening to CNN right now, typing this, while my wife works out to the latest Tai Bo tape in the living room. I'm not working out my agression on you, or emptying my "harbored angst at the world" into our shared fantasy. I simply "am." And you will deal with me, because the minute you entered this game you made your choice.

There is no honor in gaming, period, regardless of what some tell you, so I won't argue whether this thing is honorable or not . I simply enjoy the heart-pounding chase, the imagined panicked look in the player's eyes as he desperately cries out for salvation and finds only a seeking blade. I thrill in the turmoil my soul enters as I smile wickedly, looting your corpse of all of your worldly possessions, while at the same time some vestige of real-world morality plays the Golden Rule game with me. And then I pouch your goods and with a rejuvenated spring in my step, begin the search for a new target worthy of my attention.

Does it bother me on some level that I've destroyed that which you worked for, that if we take it outside the boxes connected to each other that I have in some way harmed you, as you keep reminding me in between all the "fuck you's" and their ilk? No, because my alphabet, unlike yours, has 26 letters. Someone obviously forget to put the G, A, M and E in yours. I don't pity you. You made a choice to come here . I exist simply to remind you of your choice.

I won't reply to you if you ask me "why?" when you re-enter the game. I won't return your goods. I won't listen to your threats, or your promises, or your whining. You are forgotten, lest you raise my ire again, another name on a long list of people who asked the same questions you now ask. I won't give you back your imagined sense of safety that I destroyed, standing over your corpse. The online world is not all pretty pictures and safety, and I'm your tour guide inside the shadow. The laughter you hear in the night, as you flee for safety? You know who's come calling. Run or die.

I don't gloat, or taunt, nor do I brag. I simply do, and I do so with methodical, calculated precision. It's not personal, and it's not business either. It's what I enjoy. I won't rub my deed in your face after-the-fact, because you are defeated, and that crosses a line I simply don't want to cross.

Ironically, you created me. You came to my game, where Player vs player is law. You thought you could handle it, that the risks didn't apply to you, that your friends would protect you, that no-one would harm you because you harm no-one else, that although it said it was a PvP game, that you would be safe. You're wrong, very, very wrong. It's you I come for specifically, with enlightenment at the end of a pointed blade, with a nightmare ambush from the empty shadow, with a lesson of the harsh reality of this game written in crimson hues on the ground as you crumple for the last time.

Don't whine. Don't bitch to the game masters and admin. Don't ask me to come fulfill your sense of indignant righteousness and fair play by dueling you, or "fighting you fair". I already did, because nothing's fair here, so everything's fair here. If you cannot defend what you have from the predator, then you don't deserve to have it.

Do not bleat at me, little sheep, for this path you chose of your own free will . you knew the wolves lurked here, you simply chose to ignore them. Well I didn't ignore you, regardless of the cloak of illusion you cast about yourself as you seek your place in this world.

This was written by one of the shriners, a sect that originated on Artic mud.