December 17th, 2008 by Ellen
I have mentioned before that I have a tendency to play games on Facebook. In fact, yet again this week, as a direct result of my propensity to befriend one and all, and send far too many messages, I received–yet again–the Dreaded Pink Box, from the mysterious, robotic, and feared Facebook Police.
When you get the pink box, it means that if you keep yapping endlessly to your delightful new chums all over the world, you are in danger of having your account suspended, and perhaps even–perish the thought!–banned entirely. There is no foolproof way to avoid this fate, but the best strategy is simply to “run silent,” as they say. Nobody is sure how long one must remain in this state, in order to escape punitive action–but, for lack of a better idea, I thought forty-eight hours would suffice. All of which reminded me of Michael Keaton in Nightshift–a very underrated and hilarious movie, by the way–insisting to Henry Winkler, after he gets thrown out of Las Vegas for unruly, antisocial behavior, that he “got banned for being too good of a player.”
Me, in a nutshell.
Although, to my great surprise, I have turned out to have a bit of a knack for playing King of the World (a game developed by a man named Don Lee, to give great credit where great credit is due). I started off as a lowly, somewhat bloodthirsty, but not particularly competent brute. (KOTW term for “soldier.”) I invaded, and plundered, and collected battle standards. But finally, I caught on to the fact that the fun part of the game is making friends with the members of your alliance, and working together to–well–invade and plunder even more. As it happens, I belong to the feared–and cruelly misjudged–Hitmen alliance, inaccurately thought by many to be unsportsmanlike bullies. The reality is, that while the Hitmen are very scary, mostly they are just damn good players–and this infuriates other alliances. (With the exception of our closest allies, 300 Spartans, Mercenaries, Knights Templar, and Ezekiel, and several others. Don’t ask; just smile and nod–it’s easier that way.)
But, the funny part is, as time passed, I have risen in the game, and–if you read our roster carefully–I have been promoted to Diplomat and 2nd Lieutenant. Which is actually really fun, because I end up interacting with people from every alliance in the game–and, as a result, from all over the world. My own alliance has players from the United States, England, France, Turkey, Mexico, Egypt, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Honduras, Canada, Thailand, South Africa–and God only knows how many other countries. (To my continuing amazement, almost everyone speaks astonishingly good English–and I am self-conscious about being unable to respond with the same sort of skill in any other languages.)
Today, with the help of my compatriots, I was made a member of the Royal Court. My reign will last for but a single day–which doesn’t make it any less delightful. Tomorrow, I shall return to my normal diplomat/lieutenant/brute self, but being a Princess–ever so briefly–is really quite fun.