Every day millions of gamers log into online roleplaying games and embark on continent-spanning adventure. Inspired by these virtual adventures, Guild Wars player Kelly Wells gathered her canine companion Anna and traveled across America, from Maine to California. On foot. Now her adventure continues in Guild Wars 2.
An avid video game and comics enthusiast, Wells's mission, as described on her website, was as follows:
To explore the US while reaching waypoints, meeting new characters, and completing quests.
As I advance through my Mission, I hope to unlock new quests along the way. If you have a worthy quest, feel free to send it on my way and I will add it to my Quest Log.
So yes, she might have been inspired by the games she's played just the tiniest bit. But the deeper, less colourful reason for her trip? Can't a girl go for a walk?
I'm tired of being scared of the world. I want an adventure, and I want others to realise that they can have an adventure. That all you have to do is go out that and try. You don't have to be super fit, or have the special equipment, or have a million dollars. You just have to walk out that door and throw yourself into the World.
It was that inspiring notion that propelled Kelly and Anna across the country, an adventure you can read all about at her website, Adventure Awaits: The Adventure of a Woman and Her Dog.
After she reached California and before heading home, Kelly stopped by for a visit to Guild Wars developer ArenaNet, where her inspiring tale worked its magic on the team creating Guild Wars 2.
"I think that what Kelly did is one of the coolest things I have ever heard of! Ever!" said Game Designer Linsey Murdock. "I've always been impressed by fans who get tattoos inspired by their favourite game, but to be motivated to take an epic journey across the country on foot with your trusty animal companion? That's magical. It's something that immediately shot up to the top of my list of reasons to be incredibly proud of being a game developer."
So now Kelly and Anna travel the world of Tyria as the sylvari Ameranth (Wells' online handle) and her faithful sylvan hound Anna (I guess the dog didn't have an online handle). Players will be able to interact with the young plant woman, learning about the sense of wonder and adventure that drives her to cross continents in two different dimensions.