Overcoming Fear in Virtual Middle Earth

Casual Gamer

Picture of a Lord of the Rings character as illustration to a blogpost about Overcoming Fear in Virtual Middle Earth
Liz BlackX
Yalaring the Champion in her prison garb while emprisoned

For the #EroticJournalChallenge by Brigit theme of anxiety and fear for the month October, I decided to start with a light-hearted piece on anxiety.
I love videogames, and ever since Sims 1 and Everquest, I’ve always had a game in my life. I don’t play games every day, but at least a couple times a week. Next to watching television and reading books, it’s one of the few things I do to relax. On my phone, I play Wizards Unite, occasionally Hay Day, and now the games on Apple Arcade.

Virtual Middle Earth

On my computer, I play The Sims 4 and Lord of the Rings Online.
This latter game is an MMORPG, which means it’s a roleplaying game that you play together with other people. You can compare it to World of Warcraft, only this game is set in Middle-Earth, the world build by Tolkien.

Family Affair

I’m not an extreme gamer. I don’t like raiding since it takes way too long and I don’t have the patience for it. The only reason I have two max-level characters is that my husband and his sister play the same game, and they guide me through the hard parts. They supply me with the best weapons and armour, and they help me get through the most challenging quests.

No Prison

But now for the anxiety theme. There’s a specific line of quests throughout the world that are called ‘epic quests’. They guide you throughout all zones and tell the main story. One of these quests involves your character being captured by the orcs around Isengard. My husband and his sister ran through these quests without a problem. I refused.
I would not let my character be imprisoned, and I did not care that I missed this part of the story. It’s possible to skip quests and to continue further on down the line. I could not bear the thought of having my character being locked away in some prison, and I did not trust myself enough to be able to get it out.

Champion Incarcerated

So fast forward five years. Last weekend I was playing Lotro with a character that I can solo, a champion called Yalaring. I’m playing zones in its entirety that I skimmed through with other characters. It’s fun to see parts of this game that I had never explored in detail. And suddenly my character was taken prisoner. I knew it was coming, but it took me by surprise anyway.

Fun, and Hot

And you know what? I enjoyed it immensely. It’s an elaborate area with lots of characters, and it’s a fun story to play through. I didn’t mind hauling crates of armour and buckets full of swords from one side to the next, or mopping the floor and then serving the dirty water as food to the prisoners.
And you know what else? The whole scene turned me on. In my more extreme writings, the subjects are often confined in an institution. There’s something about being helpless in such a situation that turns me on.
I felt the same way when my character was imprisoned underneath Isengard in the game, and yes, I was actually disappointed when I got the ability to escape. I did get out successfully, and I can now continue with the rest of the game.

Picture of a Lord of the Rings character as illustration to a blogpost about Overcoming Fear in Virtual Middle Earth
Liz BlackX
Yalaring conversing with Galadriel and Gandalf after her release

Empowered

Looking back, I know what I was feeling when I refused to do these quests, and I understand my decision. Knowing what these quests actually mean and that I would have been able to use a spell to travel to cities outside of the prison, makes me feel slightly ridiculous. It was fear, anxiety and a lack of self-confidence that held me back.
Today, knowing that I did do the prison-quest and was able to escape, entirely without the help of my husband and his sister, does make me feel empowered. I was able to outsmart the orcs of Isengard and escape their hold. Even if only in a videogame, it’s good to face your fears and conquer your demons. Go Yalaring!


2 Comments

  1. This cracks me up! I mean…not the anxiety part…just the fact that we can be so silly about the things that hold us back, and when we finally get through them, we can look at them for the things they really are – and they are rarely as big and hairy as we built them up to be. I also love the connection you made between the imprisonment and the types of erotic writing you do/like.

    1. I agree. Often enough my fears are somewhat silly, but this instance was extra ridiculous. I mean, it’s a computer game, and even in-game I could easily have transported my character out of the imprisonment. But I vividly remember how adamant I was about not doing this quest chain.
      The strange ways a mind can work 🤷‍♀️

      Lizblackx

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