By Kyle Osborne
While gaming has always been an important part of both my life and my social interactions, this semester it has served as a way of meeting new people in the real world. When I tell people about the seminar I’m taking, it is surprising how many people either recognize or have played Lord of the Rings Online. Just yesterday I met someone who not only plays LoTRO, but has an active account on the Gladden server. He instantly began sharing some of his gaming stories and advice. As I got to know him he became a good friend and one more person I know on the Vanderbilt campus. The common online experience has also allowed for the entire class to converse. It’s easy to become friends when you share a set of experiences.
Lotro has also given me an engaging way to pass unfilled time. When I have a free night or I am bored I can just log on to Lotro for an hour or two. On the other side of this argument I also have used lotro as an escape from school work. While trying to avoid a paper or test I find myself gravitating toward Lotro as a means of procrastination. How could I not, when this game can be considered homework. While Lotro has given me a way to occupy myself, it has also provided a way of avoiding some of my studies.