Some people are more addicted to internet games than I am. I’m just throwing that out there right off, to preserve a small measure of dignity. I am NOT the most internet-game-addicted human on the planet. I’m only “nicely” addicted.
As proof that I am not all that bad off, I point out that my character (“J Schmertzgarten”) in a certain pirate game is only a Level 2 Swashbuckler after more than a month of play. If I were a really serious addict I would be playing at a three-digit level, and my principal weapon would not still be my only one, namely, the block of wood with the nail in it. And I would have my parrot by now.
As proof that I am nevertheless bad off enough to warrant pity, I’m starting to see the entire world through the lens of internet games. So, recently, I was thinking that the current economy could easily end up with 40 percent of the population being homeless, and wondered how to prepare people for that condition. And all I could come up with was to ask people, “What style of homeless person do you want to be?”
So, say you’re going to be homeless. Step 1; pick your character’s name. It must be fewer than 20 letters and spaces, more than 3 letters, reasonably decent, and not be already taken. So you may not be Jesus Was II, Pope Kirk XVI, Johnny Snapple Sneeze, Sir Wanksalot, or Doc Pay.
Step 2; choose your character’s style. Your style will affect your power, mobility, stamina, and stealth, how quickly you can earn experience points, and the weapons available to you.
Suppose power is most important to you. You should be The Street Expert. The Street Expert specializes in knowing where all the services are. He has every color and code bus transfer in his possession, and he has the ability to know which color and code is in effect every day, even before the first bus of the morning. He eats every day at community meals, he can find a place to sleep around any corner, and his principal weapon is a Disarming Grin.
If mobility is what you want, forget the buses and be The Car Camper. You’ll be able to move freely without checking schedules. You’ll even be able to go to other cities. But watch out — if your stamina drops and you run out of dollars for gas and repairs, you’ll be a stationary target. The Car Camper is a favorite of new players because she has excellent defenses and is able to save up more goods and keep them longer. She eats food bank food, cold and raw, and her main weapon is a Wilting Scowl.
The Rough Sleeper sleeps in the rough. He has the stamina for it. He may or may not have a tent or sleeping bag. Either way, he’s home in the rough and sleeps there. When he’s sleeping his defenses are high, but during the day his style makes him easy to spot, so he has to keep on the move, which can be difficult for him. He eats berries and squirrels and can bludgeon you with a Stony Disposition.
The stealthiest style is The Fashionator. The Fashionator passes for housed by means of his/her fashion sense and attention to hygiene. The Fashionator is hardest to target, but maintaining his/her invisibility takes a lot of energy/stamina points, so playing this style requires a lot of concentration. He/she has the best chance of couch surfing or landing a day job. Eats at fast-food joints and possesses the Killer Outlook.
Now that you’ve selected your character’s style, you’re ready for your first chance to earn experience points! A Level 1 Street Expert challenges your place in line at the church feed! Stand your ground and win 1 Experience Point and graduate to Level 2!