What would you do if you were stuck in the game ‘Sword Art Online’? I bet you think you would be like Kirito? Maybe you think you’d be a member of ‘Laughing Coffin’? I think we should all dig a little deeper, look inside ourselves and see what we would really be.
If you haven’t seen the show, let me give you a quick synopsis of Sword Art Online. In the near future, everyone plays games with a headset called ‘Nerve Gear’. This is VR the way we all wish it was. You lie down, put on the headset, then you are in the game world. For all intents and purposes, you are literally in the game. It all goes wrong when a crazy game dev creates SAO. When the first people log in, on day one, they can’t log out. If they die in the game, they die in real life. If someone takes off their headset, in the real world, they die. So it is the scenario anyone that has played an MMORPG has thought about; ‘What would you do if you lived in the fantasy world that you played in?
I’ll tell you, with 100% certainty, that nearly everyone would be a coward... in the beginning. There would be some idiots that try to stunt on everyone else. Those idiots would be the red-shirt deaths that would inform people of the true danger they are in. That would cause everyone to think twice before doing something stupid.
Time would go on. There would probably be a couple of hero’s here and there, but the majority of us would not fall under that category. We would all stay home. We would start farming, become blacksmiths, or merchants. It would basically be like the real world. People would grow complaisant. How do I know? Because that is how our current world works.
You make say, “People would have the ability to go on adventures, and fight beasts in the game world. They don’t have those opportunities in our boring real world.” That sentiment is one I disagree with. People, in our real world, have every opportunity for adventure. We just choose not to do it because of- ya know...-death.
If people wanted to be adventurers, they could do that in our current world. The reality of making your life into an adventurous one is not only a dangerous task but a daunting one. You might say, “Well, the world we currently live in isn’t fun! We can’t swing swords at beasts or level up. There really isn’t a comparison, so you don’t know what would happen in an SAO-type scenario.” To that I say, “Bull$&%#”. You can buy a sword, go to Kentucky in October, and hunt a black bear. You can legitimately fight one of the biggest beasts in North America but you don’t do it because it would be suicide. Heck, you can legally use dogs to help you, according to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. That would be the same as having familiars fight alongside you.
You might try to pull the whole, “Well that’s crazy, I can’t fight a black bear! In the game world I could fight smaller creatures until I leveled up, gain new abilities, then I could fight the bear.” I say you can do that in our current world, too. You just don’t want to!
Get that same sword, go to some dank basement, and hunt some rats. Right there is an actual quest that is in every RPG, in some shape or form. As your skills with the sword improve, you can wait until rabbit season, then go hunt some rabbits. Heck you can even train the aforementioned dogs to help! That’s a new skill in your skill tree! Then you can go hunt a coyote. That’s a real test. When you and your dogs have gained enough experience from killing all of those things, you can go kill a Black bear.
Now that you know what your real world options are, weigh that against the way you choose to live your life currently. Do you still believe you would be the hero of SAO, or would you be a merchant in the center of the city so you wouldn’t get killed by monsters?
There is no shame in being smart. I would personally end up being some kind of bard. Not the cool, fighting, kind either. Just some jerk that goes around telling stories and singing for money. I’d wish I was brave enough to go out and be an adventurer but I would be too smart/cowardly for that. Comment with your own thoughts on the subject!