“Someone is searching”

Screenshot anime Kamisama Kazoku

Maybe they are right there, but will you find them? What if to everyone else they look like everyone else?

I recently read that every novel can be summed up as “Someone is searching for something.”

This made me think about my current candidate for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year, as I’ve mentioned in the previous entry. The main character and viewpoint character, a teenager who used to be an old man, now trapped in a world that used to be a game, is definitely searching for something. But I don’t really see him as searching for a way back home, not after the first pages at least. After all, in his own world he was ageing and with less than perfect health, no close family or friends nearby, no job and really no accomplishments to look forward to in the rest of his life. This was the world he loved, when he was not in it.

It did not take long for me to realize what he truly is searching for. Alone in a world that used to be a game, he is surrounded by Non Player Characters – people who used to be just pixels and scripts run by a computer, but who now have real lives of sorts. But they are still Non Player Characters. They know nothing about Real Life and the world from which he came. As far as they know, their origin and purpose and the meaning of their life lies entirely within this world, and everything else would be like pure madness to them. In fact, that is exactly how they will react if he tries to broach the subject.

And yet he must do so, because he is indeed searching. Not in the long run for a way back – that will come if it comes – but for others like himself. The one thing he cannot accept is that he is the only one of his kind in this world, the only one for whom this world is not the ultimate reality. And it is not for him to find someone who says “OK, I believe you” even though that is hard enough. You’ve got to have been there. To share his memories before they are lost forever.

Of course, this is just a work of fiction. But it is an interesting perspective, is it not? I wonder if I could manage to write it.

2 thoughts on ““Someone is searching”

  1. Good luck, this story sounds rather interesting. I’m hoping to see this develop more. This does remind me of a rather old internet comic, remember the Morrowind days? I’m sure you did not hear of that time for a small while at least. Here’s a link: http://www.skaarj.com/comic/archive.html?val=040127

    This comic ran on a similar premise, except the main character is indeed searching for something (a way to get out of the game, no spoilers there). He also interacts with the game’s main character who he thinks is the way out of the game. Just thought you might be interested.

    • That was an interesting story, thanks for the link!

      You are right, I am not the first to think of the “trapped in a video game” premise. It is not a very common trope, but it is becoming fairly popular in the LitRPG genre. It is very hard to come up with something truly original these days, but it is still possible to mix things up in new ways.

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