NaNo Prep: what is a “digital dragon slayer”?

What did I get myself in to?

First, I decide to participate in NaNoWriMo. That’s no biggy. I mean, I’ve done it before, so what could happen right? Right?

Well, ambition happened. Planning to write an informative discourse about the lives of MMO gamers turns out to be more work than I expected. Researching the history of the genre and trying to get some gamers to share their stories with me is taking more time than I had estimated, and so I guess I’ll be going into November (and thus into writing the damn thing) ill-informed.

Oh well, NaNoWriMo is meant to create drafts, not finished books. Right?

Anyway, during my preliminary research on the topic of MMO’s and other social games, I kept my focus on the digital dragon slayers. Early on, I’ve made the decision that the book should be no boring history book, dragging the reader from one date to the other. Instead, I want to throw in the stories of these part-time monster hunters. However, you might ask yourself what a digital dragon slayer is. Well, dear reader, that’s the good part: you are the digital dragon slayer.

Well, you are a digital dragon slayer if you belong to the ever-growing mass of people who spend their time in online worlds fighting threats of all kinds. Those threats can be more than dragons. Maybe you try to survive in the post-apocalyptic lands of Fallen Earth, or you steer your vessel through the vast void of EVE Online. What counts is that you spend your time in virtual worlds inhabited by other gamers, interacting with them in different ways. If you find yourself joining your guild’s raid on a Saturday night instead of getting drunk at your local watering hole, odds are high that you’re a digital dragon slayer.

What I want to show is that we “slayers” are, in the end, normal people. We are the clerks, mechanics, teachers, doctors and scientists of our modern times. We greet you friendly when you walk by or lend you some sugar. We drive cars and watch football. The only difference is that we have decided to live a significant portion of our lives in binary worlds. As long as we keep our slaying to those realms, no one gets harmed.

Would you consider yourself a digital dragon slayer? Have MMO’s become more than just another hobby to you? Are you still judged by other, non-gamers for your favorite pastime? Share your tales below!


  1. One of my earliest MMO memories is actually of the Dragon Slayer quest in Runescape, 10+ years ago when it was all 2D graphics and there was no subscription option. My brother and all my friends in the neighborhood played too, and they crowded around in the basement to watch me sail to the island and tempt fate. It made a huge impression, the social aspect and shared experience of the game, and I’ve been playing MMOs ever since.

    1. It’s especially great when you can share such an experience with friends and family. Wouldn’t you agree that it makes your digital adventures more real?

      1. Definitely! Even if I’m not actively playing with other people, if you’re in the same world you can still share experiences and talk about it.

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