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Context Sensitive: Playing the MMMMG

Susan Arendt | 20 Aug 2009 12:00
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I started off slowly. I bought a starter lanyard which came preloaded with several low-level pins. I traded away my first pin for a Tigger pin that caught my eye. The cast member I traded with chided me for trading for something of such low value, but he didn't understand - value is in the eye of the beholder. I don't care if you have a +10 Pin of Ultimate Goofy, I want what I want. Then I traded for a Donald Duck that I hadn't seen in a shop. Donald was always one of my favorite characters, and the pin was really cute. A ride or two later, I traded for a similar Donald pin on another cast member, who informed me that the Donalds were part of a four-piece set. Wait - are you telling me I'm already halfway to a complete set? If you looked closely at that particular moment, you probably would've seen "Quest Received" floating above my head.

Fortunately, my companions, let's call them Red, Numbers, and Skippy, are wonderful women - gamers themselves - who were ready to back me up. They didn't just tolerate my quest, they helped me with it, scanning cast members for PoIs - Pins of Interest. Numbers began keeping a Log to keep track of the quests we were receiving from the cast members - or NPCs as we'd come to think of them. The Great Donald Hunt was, of course, the Main Story, but we had sidequests, too. Oh, Doctor, My Doctor had us searching for a pin of Dr. Bunsen Honeydew wearing mouse ears, Pin of the Dead was our quest to track down a zombie Mickey pin, and There Be Mouses Here was our search for a pirate Mickey pin.

I bought more pins to act as trade bait, and my party members helped me scout the racks for particularly intriguing high-level tidbits. We gained experience. We leveled up. We became savvier traders and more adept at spotting desirable pins. Our trade skill became mighty.

One particularly memorable exchange occurred on our way into the Star Tours ride. The ride is on a set schedule; if you don't happen to make it on while it's being loaded, you'll have to wait a good twenty minutes for the next run. There was nobody in line, but the ride was only about thirty seconds away from starting. We were running up the impossibly long walkway that led to the ride, hoping to slide into the seats before the doors closed. Numbers was in the lead, far ahead of me, and as she ran past the cast member who was monitoring the doors to the ride, she turned back to me and shouted, "Honeydew! Honeydew!" I began removing a trade pin as I pounded up the path, mere seconds left to make the exchange. Fortunately, this NPC was on the ball, and had Honeydew waiting in hand by the time I reached the top of the ramp. We swiftly made the exchange, I jumped through the door and fell into a seat just as the door to the ride was closing. Let's see a newb try that maneuver.

Sadly, I had to leave the MMMMG with several quests left incomplete, but I did depart with a lanyard full of loot. It's hanging on the wall in front of me as I write this, a colorful reminder of my time spent raiding in DisneyWorld. Others may not get why a collection of random pins makes me smile, but those of you still questing to get that last piece of rare armor...I think you understand.

Susan Arendt highly recommends the Aerosmith ride.

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