Hooked on EverQuest

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You would never know it by looking at him. You'd see a handsome fellow in his early 30s with an open, curious face a Filipino man of medium height with a slight but sexy paunch. He dresses well, in that relaxed, urban-guy-chic way that becomes a man at ease with his own personal style. A few other details: he knows an encyclopedic number of factoids about the Amazon River Basin, is an ex-tennis jock who now smokes a few cigarettes a day, runs a successful dot-com for a living, has been known to get misty during sappy Kleenex commercials and inspires more loyalty from friends and colleagues than anyone I have ever known. That's my husband, Tin. Rather, that was my husband before he started playing the online game EverQuest.

In EverQuest, Tin is a tall, black man named Valdesero who wears aquamarine silk robes and wields a sword called a "blackened iron bastard." His friends are gnomes, wood elves and halflings. They band together to embark on quests, which involve doing things like killing evil trolls and bringing their heads to good magicians. Believe me when I tell you that the minute Tin started to play this game, it occurred to me for the first time in our eight-year intimate connection that I might have married a complete and arrant dork.