One of the central tennets of Alexander Technique - which I've been doing for about a year now - is being present; remaining aware, and in the moment, and connected to your physical being-in-space.
Now, oddly, I spend most of my waking hours being in not-space - my concentration is out in the no-there of cyberspace, both at work and in my main leisure activity.
It's a strangely disjointed feeling - my life is lived so intently on the other side of a screen, that I often feel slightly disconnected when I'm not drifting in search of information, or following a simple string of challenges in Azeroth.
The great thing about AT is that quite asside from relieving the incredibly painful sympoms of RSI - which, of course, are brought on by hours spent at a computer - is that it resets me - brings head and body back in to the same place. I leave lessons feeling... functional. Rooted. Aware. Whereas I leave the office feeling useless, sleepy and impotent. But anyway.
This virtual double life I lead took me to a strange place yesterday; most specifically, to Sevenoaks.
I was asked by the BBC Writers Room to talk to a group of writers about.. well. Games. The brief was 'to inspire them with my experiences of Games and Online Worlds.' I think I may have reinforced the idea that these places are where geeky people who don't function well in the real world hang out. Oh well. But then again, what kind of psychology does it take to want to sit around writing about the human condition, then watching other people act out those fake emotions? Horses for courses... :-)
Anyway - it was fairly gruelling; three days worth of preperation and rereading source material, putting together a beautiful powerpoint and getting there to find... no projector, so everyone sitting around my laptop. But I was fairly pleased with the ideas that shook out.
I topped off the day with - finally, after having barely logged in for over a week - an evening playing WOW. I hit 50! We killed the farting princess! Go Altus Chillers! etc etc.
There is a strange backdrop to the game at the moment; there are massive 'world events' going on - quests and narrative points that involve every player. Currently, it's preparations for a war; all are gathering resources as fast as possible in order to complete the quests to open the gates to a new world area. It's rather like being in a crowd at an unexpectedly significant event - no-one is quite sure what will happen, rumours are flying around, there's a palpable sense of expectation in the air. Also, the economy has gone completely barmy - with usually cheap resources selling for huge ammounts. I'm reading 'Wartime: Britain 1939-1945' at the moment, and the parallels with the atmosphere during the Phony War and attitudes to Rationing described in the book are... well, maybe it's just me being over excited, but it feels very real.
The thing is, when you spend enough time somwhere else, you invest in that other world, and in some way leave part of yourself there, or take the world with you when you shut off your monitor. And when little reminders pop in to your regular old RL existence they seem... somehow, much more exotic. And you miss the other place in the same way you pine for the holiday beach on your first day back in the office.
Anyway. Look! Tourists in a virtual game! Cool! Medivh Server have done it already!
(I'm incoherrent with tiredness today - can you tell?)