Maybe I am fated to always be alone, Tsukuru found himself thinking. People came to him, but in the end they always left. They came, seeking something, but either they couldn’t find it, or were unhappy with what they found (or else they were disappointed or angry), and then they left. One day, without warning, they vanished, with no explanation, no word of farewell. Like a silent hatchet had sliced the ties between them, ties through which warm blood still flowed, along with a quiet pulse.
In China’s urban centers, many players feel “market-driven consumption individualism” separates the people from what the players feel are deep cultural values. Rather than associating the game with capitalist notions—gaining more, spending more—WoW became celebrated among Chinese players as a powerful communal structure resonating with the country’s traditional roots.
Yet his young friend’s casual return made Tsukuru feel as if he were somehow able to spit out a hard lump of air that had been stuck in his chest. As if the pressure weighing on his chest were relieved. He hadn’t been abandoned after all.
Many experience a contradictory stew of moral norms and great confusion about what it means to be a good person. With the click of a button, they can enter this game and intuitively experience moral sentiment.
World of Warcraft has given me a spiritual feast… unconditional loyalty and friendship just like in the Chinese traditions;” “…you see their souls set free and you will in turn feel warmed up by them;” “…playing a character in the game is playing the soul of a person;” “Here it is my spiritual homeland… I think I will stay here forever to see the end of the world.”
He closed his eyes and, as if floating in water, drifted in that world of pain. Still, being able to feel pain was good, he thought.
In the end, the most important thing I want to say is what we are playing is not merely a game… In this world we find a feeling of existence we cannot find in the real world. This does not mean we are escaping, nor that we can only play games. People who say this are not real players… Do not think playing games is a waste of time, because the game makes up for something we’ve lost.
It’s not hard to think about what you don’t want to do or have done to you. It informs what the group decides to standardize. These it’s best to leave alone. Don’t fool with them. Every system needs elite people like them. If things go well, they’ll eventually be in leadership positions.
All sorts of sounds mixed together into a sharp, terrible static deep within his ears, the kind of noise that could only be perceived in the deepest possible silence. Not something you can hear from without, but a silence generated from your own internal organs. Everyone has their own special sound they live with, though they seldom have the chance to actually hear it. Many Chinese youths view the sound as a promised land of sorts.
Recommended citation: howLAB, “Giant Sand Worm Experiment xx01,” Vol., Issue, No, September 5, 2014.
Murakami, Haruki (2014-08-12). Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage: A novel (p. 252). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Kill Screen Daily. “Is World of Warcraft a religion?” Accessed Fri, Sept 5, 2014.