From a Virtual World

Author Dave Andrew

In a popular virtual world there’s a hunt every year with quests. It’s like a huge scavenger hunt with a boatload of things to find and do, and things move when found. In past years I tried it and never got very far.

Well, this last time, I decided I was going to finish it no matter what it took. But I soon found I couldn’t do it without help. As I tried to complete one quest involving lighting fires, another avatar asked if I needed help. She helped me find all the places where I needed to light those fires. I thanked her and she said, “The rule here is, pay it forward.”

I took that to heart and, as others continued helping me and I became more experienced and hip to where things could be found, I made notes of the locations. Whenever I saw something I’d already found, I’d say in group chat, “Anyone need the [item]?” Or when someone asked in group chat where something might be, I’d send that person a private message telling where I’d last seen it or suggesting several places.

Paying it forward this way helped me feel more a part of a community of people who helped each other. I was going to end that sentence with “with no thought of reward,” but there was a very real reward—the satisfaction of helping others.

And yes, like 160 others, I did finish and was awarded a virtual plaque!

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