In fact, it was a 15-year-old who turned me on to the game in the first place—one of my SAT students. He was funny, smart, and sensitive and lived with his family in a wealthy community on Long Island where I’d recently started to work as a tutor to keep my writing habit afloat. I taught my student how to look for patterns on the SAT test, and how to spot the usual errors people made when answering questions. He liked learning how to outsmart others. But he was a teenage boy, and didn’t always want to concentrate. He wanted to talk about his Xbox, which my live-in boyfriend had coincidentally just given me for Christmas. My student wanted to know if I had played the video game Knights of the Old Republic. It was set in a mythical version of the Star Wars universe, and would train me in the ways of the Jedi: a private universe where I could build my own light saber, even have my own Wookie sidekick, and become that enviable thing—a cross between Han Solo and Luke Skywalker—all while still remaining a girl. Or a boy. I could mold my features to look like anyone I wanted. There were instructions I could follow in case I wanted my character to look like Halle Berry. It was January and I was bored. The low sky and constant snow made the cramped city borough where I lived even more claustrophobic. But out here in the neighborhood I visited twice a week, wide windows looked out over an icy lawn and Manhasset Bay. It was doubtful that any residence I ever owned was going to have the luxury of a vast, scenic view outside the dining room window. But now there was at least the allure of becoming a Jedi to pass the winter months. My boyfriend thought we ought to give the game a try.
more from Marie Mutsuki Mockett at The Morning News here.