I still remember the feeling like it was yesterday.
The people gathering all around me. The crowd cheers during, and after, every song. People yelling their requests for the next song. Fans returned every day just to listen to my music. Sometimes I was playing on the violin, sometimes guitar, and sometimes the piano, but always reaping a sea of applause. How did I manage to get to this point? And moreover, why am I still studying at university, and not breaking through into the world of music?
When I was younger, I’ve never really been able to play an instrument really well. I’ve had some piano lessons, but my level was nowhere near that of a pro. I also (sadly) wasn’t gifted with a wonderful voice. In short, when it comes to music I was a complete disaster.
And I still am.
I still can’t play any instrument. I still can’t sing.
At this point, one would probably think I lied about everything I said at the beginning of this blog. Well, you are all lucky that I got some pictures to prove it!
This is me. Or rather, this is Komakura, my character in the Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) Black Desert Online (BDO).
In BDO one will start the game by choosing a certain class and then designing a character. Komakura is a Shai, a small fairy/dwarf-like creature fighting with a huge boomerang and the power of music. I designed her to look a bit like myself (short hair, but a bit more badass (red eyes).
The thing that makes the Shai class so unique is their ability to make music outside the battlefield. One can just compose their own music at the composer option in the game.
Of course, it didn’t take long for some talented people to converse entire (well-known) songs into the game. Those music sheets are free to download and use for all Shai. You just have to download the sheet, make sure your music level is high enough to play it, and click on the play button. Your character will then grab the corresponding instrument, and start to play the song.
Because BDO is such a huge and popular game, it is divided into different servers. One would usually join the same server every time because that’s what most people did. In this way you would always end up with the same people on a server, thus you could genuinely get to know some others.
One day, I decided to join a server named Velia 4. I had done a lot of studying that day, and my brain wasn’t up for much intensive battling, so I decided to just walk to a busy marketplace in-game, and start playing some music. Since I was playing popular anime songs, it didn’t take long for a small group of people to gather around me. After playing for an hour or so, I decided to log off. The next day, I did the same thing at the same time. Again, some people gathered around me, some of which I recognized from yesterday.
This went on for days and my daily group of fans slowly started to grow. Some people even started telling me that they only came online just for listening to my music. Within a month, I was known as the marketplace musician of Velia 4.
I think this is something very beautiful about Role-Playing games. You can be who you wanna be, no matter your skills in real life. It might sound stupid, but even though the only thing I did was clicking the play button on the music sheets that other people made, it still felt great. I still felt like I was performing. This is the power of online personas. It’s not about faking who you are, but about being able to do everything you would want to do.