Schilling's got his (online) game face on
You might say of newly acquired Boston Red Sock Curt "The Hope" Schilling that he's got games. One of the games he excels at is baseball. Another happens to be EverQuest, a deep-dish, spooky-wooky online role-playing adventure fantasy marketed by Sony.
"I'm a wargamer at heart," was one of Schilling's comments in a lengthy 2001 interview with Allakhazam (real name: Jeff Moyer), who runs an EverQuest fan website. Here is how Schilling, an old-line Dungeons and Dragons guy who says he has played "Ultima Online, Diablo, every war game made, Baldur's Gate I and II," describes some quality time in fantasy world:
"My first foray into Lower Guk was a lot of fun. . . . Completing the Robe of the Lost Circle quest was a blast. Camping Raster was a nightmare, but I got stupidly lucky. I had pretty much resigned myself to camping Scythehands in the Mino room, logging in, seeing another monk already there camping, and waiting. One night I log in, and there's a 55 level monk there. Great guy. He's been there for like 12 hours. No Raster -- pop, despawn, pop, despawn -- still no Raster."
Some context: Schilling is webby to the max. He pops in to baseball chat rooms and gives fans straight talk about almost any issue, including the media's occasional penchant for distorting players' comments. (Schilling declined to talk to me about his Web gaming.) He is also president of MultiManPublishing.com, "the leading developer of the Avalon Hill line of wargames under exclusive licence from Hasbro, Inc."
Schilling seems to be someone -- and this is good news for us -- who doesn't do things halfway. He is a fanatical World War II buff. You might have noticed a picture of his dog Patton in yesterday's sports section, and he once kept a German minesweeping vehicle in his garage. For all I know, he still does.
Now back to the World Of Norrath. Schilling's EverQuest habit came to light after a 2001 game when his former Philadelphia Phillies teammate Doug Glanville hit two homers off of Schilling, who had just joined the Arizona Diamondbacks. Glanville explained to a writer for ESPN
.com that the homers were payback for Schilling's role in the death of Bing-
bong, Glanville's beloved, dwarven paladin. Glanville's tale: "One day, Schill was playing his character, Cylc, and he asked me to team up with him in Faydwer, in the zone of the Butcherblock Mountains, to kill Aviaks, which are basically walking birds." The pair encountered danger, according to Glanville, and Schilling ran away: "I vowed revenge on the soul of Bingbong, for the negligent actions of Cylc." Hence the two homers.
Later, Allakhazam offered Schilling the chance to tell his side of the story. "C'mon dude, you ever hear of a cleric pulling in a group with a paladin?" Schilling answered. "Anyone with a lick of sense in EQ could see right through [Glanville's] babbling and knows that he was the train conductor in that entire episode. Doug's the goods though. Fun as hell to group with. His ranger is around 30 now. Nahir is his name. Give him a tell if you want a fun guy to group with. He experiments with other characters a lot more than I do though."
I'm glad we got that cleared up.
There are some wonderful Boston moments in my friend Joseph Finder's forthcoming high-tech thriller, "Paranoia." The 26-year-old protagonist, Adam Cassidy, makes a passing reference to Mitt Romney's alma mater Bain & Co., "a high priced global management-consulting firm that takes guys around my age, guys that know even less than I do, and works them until they're drooling idiots, making them visit companies and write reports and bill hundreds of thousands of dollars for their bogus wisdom." Could Finder, a Russianist, have known that the great David Owen -- not the former British foreign secretary; I mean The New Yorker's David Owen -- once branded Bain "the KGB of management consulting" in a famous Harper's magazine article, "Those Who Can't, Consult"?
Furthermore, a front-page article by the Wall Street Journal's veteran high-tech reporter, William Bulkeley, plays a key role in the thriller's denouement. It turns out that the chief financial officer at Trion Systems -- halt! -- I can say no more. On sale Jan. 20.
Alex Beam is a Globe columnist. His
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