When I think of “The Story,” its thematic whole is the friendship between John and Trishna. They act as the rock around which everything else forms. There are nodes of considerations for other characters, like Sammohini in “Novel 01,” “02,” and more, but almost all of them interact with John and Trishna to some degree. What is that friendship based on except for a mutual respect and love – agape, or romantic – between two people with mutual interests?
Spoilers?: Minor [relationships between friends]
I had initially thought of how this related to sexuality.
But that feels like too far into “The Story” – instead, my focus should be between two friends as they get to know each other over the years that they do online, where they physically can’t meet, but chat via chat software daily. Maybe Trishna drops hints of being interested in being in a relationship with John, either directly or indirectly, and there are some milestones that happen throughout their friendship that make the in-person meeting and time much easier to transition into a relationship.
Well, that’s what I’ve imagined, but how would that turn out?
I imagine Trishna as someone that is curious in many topics and people, so for her, she finds John through a message board where they chat over a mutual interest – most likely, videogames – and then they chat about more things from there. Throughout my years in virtual communities, I’ve found that the friendships I’ve kept the longest have been ones where we have more than just one topic of discussion. What happens to most work friendships after I leave? There is something to be said for proximital friendship – the relationships we have due to geographical or societal similarities. I’ve had many work buddies, but only a few of them have become friendships that have lasted outside the job.
Videogames, for them, would be the impetus for their relationship.
That videogame should be something accessible enough for John to play, considering his physical disability and financial situation, and interesting enough for maybe Trishna as well. Would it be some kind of social MMORPG with light combat elements? I’ve always thought about that meeting place as something like a 90s message board, but the cool thing about “The Story” is that it can be significantly anachronistic. For example, what if they met in a Discord-style MMORPG? Then they’d have to have some sort of reason to both be there.
Good thing it will take me many years still to tell “The Story.”
If I’m dipping into that thought well, there are some interesting results that pop out due to that. Discord has been a great communication platform for me [not-sponsored], more flexible than Slack due to not having to create new accounts for each server, and more accessible and popular than other options, so I could fictionalize it, turn it into the platform where they meet, and, let it rip. If that’s the case, are there other MMORPGs like this? Is this one a fantasy one? [No. Although I imagine Trishna and John would probably enjoy some fantasy-style settings, they don’t really seem like D&D stereotype enthusiasts to me.] Would it be more realistic? Possibly.
What roles would they play in this roleplaying game?
When I think back to MMORPGs I’ve played, the friends I met along the way were ones that joined me over mutual goals. I set up a guild in Flyff with some friends that I met as we adventured and in ENDLESS WAR I picked purple over pink for complex psychological reasons. What if I had adventured on different days or picked pink? I don’t entertain speculation much, but within fiction, that would mean that if both Trishna and John picked purple, they’d meet, and if John picked pink, they wouldn’t have met on friendly terms.
Why would they pick one faction over another?
I picked Team Mystic in Pokémon Go because of some surface-level psychology, but I didn’t play it long enough to meet but one person who asked me what team I was on and that was that. Other games, whether chatting about favorite games or watching people play games on Twitch, involve experiencing the game and then chatting about it. That could be why I’ve built up a community around people on Twitch – we all like hanging out in the same channels, so we get to know each other, and, we don’t all play the same game, or even games at all.
Community, in this sense, is a nebulous scenario.
Meandering through this idea at length, I feel like some kind of text-based MMORPG could fit into “The Story” well enough. It could be some kind of quaint, player versus environment game that is easy to play but isn’t casual enough to be boring in a few rounds of play. Pokémon Myuu comes to mind, but even that only had limited interest, so I wonder – am I building a Discord game now? No, but this does put some context behind an element of “The Story” I have been thinking about.
John and Trishna could have a friendship formed around a mutual goal.
The nice thing about Discord is that you can see your entire conversation history, and with one friend, our friendship started over me telling a stranger, basically, “watch out for this enemy.” Something like that, a sort of mutual empathy over something, was enough to where we’re still friends today. That’s cool! I sometimes think of how I met people, and on Twitch sometimes it’s fairly easy to follow the paths from one channel to the next, but other times it’s vaguer.
How do John and Trishna meet, then?
Broadly, inside of a text-based MMORPG fits well enough, and specifically over some kind of mutual respect – Trishna approaches John. She says “hi :)” and he responds with “Hello.” That part’s been set in stone for 10 years? Everything outside of that I need to build. I’m not planning any serious game development for now.
Maybe once I tell “The Story…”
|Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium.|
|Inspirations: I think ENDLESS WAR has been creeping in again. I’d been thinking of rejoining for a few days and today, I was told on good word that the environment has improved|
|Related: Essays building “The Story.”|
|Written On: 2021 June 18 [8:18pm to 8:52pm]|
|Last Edited: 2021 June 18 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|