Not being a computer gamer, I'm unfamiliar with online play, so my first RPG experience was today with Phantasy Star Online. Talking with other people's avatars (without trying to kill them, ala Quake III Arena) is wild – an appropriate extension to text-based chat rooms.

My adventuring was not so cool, however. A high-level fellah I met up with outfitted me with weapons and MAGs much too powerful for a mere 4th-level HUmar, and brought me to the Ruins, where one hit and I'm down for the count. WTF? This is fun? I'd rather go at my own pace, or with people that are at the same level as me, thanks.

Coincidentally, my benefactor's name was the same as that of an Apple IIgs program I recently agreed to demonstrate at this year's KansasFest. Let's hope the demo goes better than the RPG.