My life as an NPC [01: I am not my routine]

You ever feel like being an NPC is consuming your existence? Like, yeah, maybe I’m a coffee merchant for some of my week, but that’s not WHO I am. Providing caffeinated consumables to players as they go about their game is just something I do to earn my keep.

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Level 2

If you’ve ever been to a family gathering I’m sure you’ve heard someone ask “how’s work going?” HEY! YOU! I’m more than some NPC, alright?! Like, I have adventures of my own when I’m not serving world functions! I do things! I craft stuff! I have dreams and aspirations of being able to play my own game more frequently some day.

Come to think of it, does it ever sicken you a little when you hear people talk about their life as an NPC like it’s the thing that defines them? Maybe that’s okay for some people, but not for me. I think this is how movie and television villains are born.

You know, I find in my adult life that I’m sympathizing more with the kind of villains that early version me would have fought against. Sometimes it’s lonely when you feel like the only one working to break your NPC routines while everyone around you happily defines their existence by those same routines. Thankfully, I’ve managed to find myself some friends that are also working to break their NPC tendencies.

Sometimes my friends deviate from normal behavior and it makes me want to cringe, but at the same time, in that brief moment, they’re my heroes. Boy, how I’d love to just speak truth and deviate from my pre-programmed and expected responses. How I long to shake things up for those around me, to make people ask questions they never dared ask, to write down my thoughts for the world to see. Maybe some day I’ll start a blog, but who would want to read that?

You know what? I’m gonna try it. I’m gonna find some new responses to generic questions, try them out on some players I run into, and try not to curl up in a ball and revert back to my old ways. It sounds difficult, it sounds scary, and it sounds like an adventure.

Looking for group

If you’re looking to break your programming as well, I would invite you to join me on this stretch of the journey. Go out there and do something out of the ordinary. Respond in a way that isn’t expected (but please be safe about it) and comment on this article or the next with what you did and how it worked out for you.

Thanks for reading My Life as an NPC. I have so much to say on the subject it’s been difficult to distill ideas into bite-size chunks for people to read. Ultimately I’m hoping to update this series every week, but we’ll see how things go. If you have thoughts on your life as an NPC, or perhaps you have tips and tricks for breaking the routine, drop a comment below, on Facebook, or tweet me @ProxyFox on Twitter.

Life is a game. Let’s play!

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