I play an online game called Guild Wars. One reason I like it is that in towns you can interact (or not) with many other players, but once you leave an outpost, you are in your own 'instance', with only the players in your group. I play only the PvE, player versus environment, but there is PvP, player versus player, as well. I've tried that, but it's not for me.
What's an old lady like me doing in an online game? Loving it, that's what. Four years ago, my youngest was an aspiring game artist living at home and mentioned that a new game was coming out that he thought I would enjoy. I joined him in the last beta weekend before launch, and was hooked. Pre-ordered the game, upgraded my video card and my warrior was born in April 2005.
The reason I bring this subject up is that last weekend was the Canthan New Year in game and I got a celestial ox! Woo-hoo! Ok, that looks stupid written down.
There are various festivals ingame, and this one corresponds vaguely with the Chinese New Year. Do quests to earn tokens, turn in tokens to get fortunes, open fortunes to get money, fireworks, and every so often a little glowing ox made of stars. I did not get the celestial rat last year, so I was really happy when I got the ox.
Oh, did I mention that the only reason I tried this game was that it is free to play? You buy the game, and then play as much as you want- no monthly fee like the other online games. Plus, you don't have to play with others. I know lots of people enjoy that, but I like running around with my computer generated friends, the henchmen.
I am in a guild with my son and daughter (Sectaurs and Ameranth- I decided to use screen names they have used in the past), but they don't have as much free time to play as I do. I gave GW to my older son, Shoeshine, for Christmas, trying to lure him away from Ultima Online, but I don't know if it will work. Hmm, I wonder if I could get my parents to try it out ? I'd have to get them away from Zuma and solitaire.
In case you're interested- http://www.guildwars.com/