It was a dark and dreary night as I arrived at the Kingdom Home for the Mentally Disenfranchised (known as KHMD). I stand now in a cramped entryway dripping from the rain outside. I’m soon let in by a pleasant enough elf mage in pink hospital scrubs. I notice there’s a smiley faced moth decoration on the scrubs. The name tag reads “Gypsy.”
I’m here because I received a scrawled message on my KL account from a player named Psyko wanting to tell me his story. Because I’m fascinated by the various ways people play KL, and how they develop their “personas,” I figured it couldn’t hurt to accept the invitation.
The pink-clad elf takes me through a maze of corridors, in and out of various creaky, creepy doors before we stand in front of Psyko’s room. Well, it’s not really a room. It’s more of a magic-hardened, wrought-iron, circular fence that sits in the middle of vast, dark room. When my interview is over, I will have regretted being let into this “cage.”
Psyko is sitting in one of those metal card table chairs at the far end of the room. I don’t notice much around me, accept the closer I get to my interviewee the colder the room appears to get. I sit down in the other chair and take a look at Psyko close up. He is wearing a black robe that is tattered but tight fitting. The large hood hides him and I can barely make out the features of his face. He also has soft-bottomed boots on his feet and is wearing very worn black, fingerless gloves. If he were to stand, he would be rather short for an elf, standing only 5’9”. He is muscular but thin.
I’ve found that I just need to dive in with questions right away, so I ask “Tell me some basic stats of your KL player.”
There’s a creaking sound that I at first think is his chair, but realize soon that it is Psyko’s voice. He grates out, “I am a level 61 elf mage. My favorite weapons are my spells, the Death Curse to be specific. Although I only have 35, I
This is where I first notice his odd speech pattern. As Psyko talks more and more, I feel myself being a bit woosy, as if he is mesmerizing me. What is odd, too, is that each time he speaks a word with the ‘c’ sound, I would swear he’s pronouncing or saying it as a ‘k.’ I’m not sure how this is, but that’s what it’s like to talk to him.
He continues, “I spend most of my time on KL bountying random people without kare of what they will do in return, or just talking with friends.”
“How did you choose your name?” I ask next. I find myself crossing my arms against my chest. It really is cold in here, I think to myself.
The metallic, scratching voice says, “I changed my name to Psyko immediately after I left Axis of Mayhem and went on a killing spree of my former allies. I max bountied them all. I mean every-last-one! That’s why I'm in the asylum.”
Trying to seem nonchalant, I ask next: “When did you first begin playing? How long have you been playing?”
Psyko creaks out: “I first started playing in KL in April of '09, but I wasn't really active until August 2009. Until then I only really got on to buy land and bank the rest. My main focus was in Racing Live. I’ve been playing pretty steadily since late Aug. '09.” He pauses and I can see the whites of his teeth when he says, “I joined Axis of Mayhem in August '09.”
I ask, “Have you ever posted on another player’s wall? What did you say or what were you hoping to accomplish?”
A bell sounds from far away, and then I hear the sound of a flock of crows cawing. I then smell pickles. What a creepy place this is, I think.
Psyko begins to drum on his metal chair with both hands as he screeches out, “I post on other players’ walls all the time. It’s everything from a simple link so they
My eyebrows go up at this new word. “What is a bounty slide?”
Psyko says, “A Bounty List slide is when you put a bounty on the lowest level person you
I feel more woozy than ever. I can’t help myself any longer and ask about all the k’s I’m imagining in my mind.
He screeches out another laugh and says, “I wondered when you would ask. Since I was 12 years old I questioned the purpose of the letter ‘c’ and it’s duality. It doesn’t really make it’s own sound, save the use of a ‘ch’. For example, if you would write ‘nice’ it would sound the same as ‘nise’. Or, ‘execute’ could be spelled ‘exekute. And, ‘karnage,’ ‘krime,’ and ‘havok’ all look better with a ‘k.’ Wouldn’t you agree?
I deside not to answer. I mean decide. It’s katching. I mean catching.
“Tell me about your current clan,” I direct.
“I have joined 2 klans so far. In August '09 I joined Axis of Mayhem, and soon left them for Chaos. I felt that the leader did not know what he was doing yet, and that the war thrust upon him was overwhelming. I saw everything I wanted in a klan in chaos, and submited my interest with several members. It wasn't until the first week of September that I was accepted, but it's been my home ever since. I will always be chaos, even when there is no one left but me.”
I think, given his past history of psychotically attacking clan members, perhaps he will be the only one left! I ask, “Have you changed or altered your name in some way?”
He’s stopped tapping his fingers, and is now scraping his leather boots across the floor repeatedly. It is then that I notice there are tiny, silver chains keeping him seated in the chair. He says, “I've changed my name one major time, from Malik to PsyKo. Before the change I had talked to so few people that it went unnoticed. And, since the first change I've only replaced the "o" with a radioactive symbol.”
“Chatting is a big part of clan involvement. Have you joined a chat group that is dedicated to KL?”
“I am in several chat rooms on Palringo for KL. I am also a part of a forum site that is dedikated to the order of chaos, where we discuss game issues and new membership.”
A gigantic whooping sound erupts above my head. I feel a strong breeze blow at my hair for a few seconds, and then I smell the distinct aroma of butterscotch pudding. I shudder in the cold and ask, “Is keeping your personal identity a secret important? Do you chat about your name, work, family, etc?”
He makes that metallic laughing sound again, and says, “I've shared personal pictures, work information, and daily things that stress me out with the many friends I've made in chaos. The things that are off limits and set me off are few and far between. When I see komments people have made regarding disrespect of family, I draw the line. That person bekomes fair game, and will be pitched to anyone that's available to hit.”
“I’ll try to remember that one,” I say and then ask: “Do you have friends in the real world that also play KL? Are you friends in KL also, or do you spar against each other?”
Psyko says, “I have a few friends that play, but they are inaktive or prefer to play without a klan. I also believe I've made some real friends playing KL and on Pal, people that are just happy to see me when I get on, or remember special events.”
“How many enemies have you made in KL?” I ask. “What happened and does the fury continue for a while?”
Psyko cackles: “I've made a few enemies myself. They will bounty me persistently for a week, and then they seem to lose interest. But there are a few that kontinue even after months have passed.” He pauses. “I plan on handling one of those enemies right now!”
He throws back his hood suddenly and a great light erupts into the room. I notice with a sinking feeling that the vast dark room is actually an auditorium. Psyko’s ‘room’ is actually a fighting cage. The light blinds me a bit so I never actually get a good luck at Psyko’s face. When I reflect on it later, I’m almost positive there was a large tattoo on his forehead—a tattoo of the letter K. Or, it might have been a C. But I could never be sure.
A creaking noise behind me tells me that the door to the cage has opened. I hear noises all around me as a crowd of KL players rushes into the auditorium and begins to fill the seats. Nurse Gypsy welcomes me out and whispers that Psyko will be indisposed for a few hours and that I will be directed to leave the building.
My visit to the KHMD hasn’t been exactly ‘pleasant,’ but I did enjoy learning more about this Chaos member and what makes him tick. Players out there are responding to my call form more interviews, so please check back in with me each Monday for the latest story. In fact, my blog has reached a milestone of over 3,000 page views since I started in early January, 2010. I thank you for your readership!
You may be interested in telling me about your experiences, also. Let me know by contacting me here, on my KL profile (army code=R2N3SM), by completing my questions contained on Post # 3, or by directly following this link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XWP83FV .