Name: Carolyn Alexander
Character Name: Hugzug
Shard: Siege Perilous
Growing up in a religious Californian household, Carolyn Alexander’s knowledge of roleplaying games was what you might describe as “nonexistent.” Alexander found herself using Ultima Online as an escape from the day-to-day stresses of life, quickly realizing just how much fun playing a role could be. Before long, she found herself recruited into UO’s most infamous roleplaying guild, the Shadowclan Orcs.
“For my mom, our faith was first and foremost in our lives,” Alexander said. “God first, everything else in its order after that. Fantasy worlds and fiction stories weren’t banned from our home but it was just a direction that wasn’t encouraged.
“The magic, dragons, demons, and pentagrams in game did make me uncomfortable for awhile because I was always raised to fear it because it was ‘dark’ and ‘demonic,’” Alexander explained. “Just having it be so open in a game anyone could buy was shocking to me.
Using UO as a window to meet and interact with people from different cultures around the world, Alexander overcame her religious reservations, leading to her enjoy a fun gaming and intellectually-stimulating conversations.
“What drew me to UO was the medieval time period, and the curiosity of what an online game was and the social aspect of it,” she said. “This was the first online game that I knew about when it was released. At that point in my life, I was not one to go out much, make friends, or enjoy being in a social atmosphere publicly. For me, being able to socialize and interact with people on my terms was pretty enticing.
“Over time, people would discuss aspects of their real lives and one specific player, who I played with often on the Napa server, mentioned her Wiccan beliefs one night. We started a conversation over it and we talked for quite awhile in ICQ over what exactly she believed, and what her beliefs entailed. We are good friends to this day.”
Read more of Carolyn Alexander’s story in Chapter 3: Community Service.