Thursday, June 06, 2002

The Placebo Effect
I checked again, even if I by now have absolute proof that at least 1/3 of the information on the site is wrong. It has a soothing effect, but it doesn't bring my luggage back, and it doesn't tell me where the two missing bags might be. But my mind is preoccupied with them, I keep memorising what is in them. The new dress and jacket. Two pairs of shoes. Medicines and cosmetics. Underwear - and clean too. Not to mention the books. All of the books I have been working with lately. I am trying to remember what I slipped into the top pocket. That was something I had almost forgotten, then remembered in the last minute.

My mind obsesses over these possessions, and I seek solace by giving myself this substitute for information. One of the players I interviewed said that levelling in games is something people do not because it's so much fun - not even because it lets them kick the other player characters' behinds - but because they can do it. We are often powerless, adrift, victims to circumstances beyond our control. In the game, the one thing the players can do is level: gain experience points and check out equipment. And so that's what they do. It's not a cure, but it feels like a cure, it's at least something. There's a place where I can log in and see that they have all the information I gave them. I can see that they have the right address. I can see the numbers of the luggagge tags and I know that when somebody finds the bags they can search by way of the tags and find out where they belong. And it doesn't really change anything, it just offers the illusion of control.

The pretty earrings. I was complimentet for those at the Eyebeam Soiree. Now I wish I had forgotten to pack them. They would have been safer in NYC.

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