Sit down. Have a cup of BobbleJava. Shhh. Eleanor Rigby is reading her article about family in GNE.

bobbles on Eleanor Rigby

The family that GNEs together, blows wombat whistles together.

"Look, Mom, I'm telling you, the best way to level up is to go somewhere neutral and set off a few New Economies, but only do it if you've got the makings for about three Genomes for each New Economy, 'cause it'll crater your karma, and make sure you're at perfect health and mood and stuff before you do it so you max out on bonus points. Go ahead, don't be shy, Mom, look at your skill level already! Once you've got that under control, pick up all those little things in Gidgit's Widgits and crank out a bunch of Enlightenments -- no no no! Don't exercise that Sense of Entitlement, you'll be a real jerk if you do! Oh man, this is getting tiresome, why are you making all that red paper? Ma, come on, just camp out in the seaweed and pick up some blues. Here, look, I have some greens, I'll come give you some… and a few potions of skill while we're at it."

The resident 13-year-old came rushing in. "Can I try? I want to play too, where do I sign up?"

I occasionally wondered why I'd told my 15-year-old son about GNE in October 2002. We'd both applied for beta-tester-hood, but his invitation came a couple weeks before mine. I spent that first night he was on standing behind him and watching him instantly figure out everything he needed to do, where he needed to go to get what, and how to get ahead. For Polarix Dark, getting ahead was the name of the game. (That's probably why not many of you knew him very well. He's a little more chatty online than in person, but that's not saying much.) He rose quickly in skill and soon knew his way around as if it were his own bedroom. Finally, my invitation came, and Eleanor Rigby had joined her sons Polarix Dark and lots-a-purple-paper in finding their ways around Instancia. When November arrived and I put GNE aside so I could write a novel (nanowrimo), I felt cheated, since my sons kept playing and getting more skilled and richer and figuring out more things. I rejoined them in early Dec. just in time to be wiped. After the wipe, neither of them really played anymore, but they coached me and hung over my shoulder as I bought my first (and only!) house, petitioned for a closet, made a couple art installations, and attended parties in public places. (lots-a-purple-paper will still mention some of those times: "Remember that great party that Flippy Rice held? And that huge mound of fish you and kona made that some clueless newbie came and consumed-all of? And then when the world ended and everyone was getting all weepy?")

Finally there was no getting around it: Mr. Natural had to move to Instancia, too. Those of us with knowledge of The World helped him ease into it, and those of us with established friendships (e.g. me) introduced him to some of our favorite folks, and after that, there was no stopping us. Early morning before school and work, and every evening after dinner, two of us were popping around the GNE world, seeing who was there and what adventures we could get into (or dream up), with two teenagers looking over our shoulders to see who was on, what was new, whether we had enough skill to make a GNE yet. On the first morning of Jan. 2003, when I made my first GNE, my family gathered around me to watch and cheer. We had a new vocabulary, a new pastime, new friends, and another new reason to spend time with each other. With one of us on his computer in his bedroom upstairs, one of us in the den, one of us in the kichen (we have nine computers on our home network right now…), and one of us flitting between the other three, we were a connected and quite devoted GNE family. And everyone else knew how special my New Economy coffee mug was to me, and has learned to leave it for me alone. And to pat me gently on the shoulder when they find me drinking from it and sighing.

Just yesterday driving in town, Polarix Dark was musing about what his school robotics team should call their next robot. A voice from the back seat suggested, "Dos Pesos?" We can't wait to be a GNE family again.

Respectfully submitted, Eleanor Rigby (with love to my family: Mr. Natural, Polarix Dark, and lots-a-purple-paper)