Guild Wars Inspires Woman to Walk Across America

Guild Wars Inspires Woman to Walk Across America

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ArenaNet honors her as a special Guild Wars 2 NPC.

Has a videogame ever inspired you to do something in real life? I remember that GTA: San Andreas made me try to work out more often after making protagonist CJ hit the gym in-game, but that's about it. A woman by the name of Kelly "Ameranth" Wells, however, found in ArenaNet's Guild Wars the inspiration to walk across the United States from coast to coast accompanied only by her faithful canine friend, Anna.

Wells explained on her blog why the MMO sparked the idea:

One day I was playing Guild Wars, running around in Ascalon helping pig farmers round up their pigs and little girls find their flutes, and I thought "Man, I wish I could live here. Just running around, seeing the land, helping people in need, and having adventures." Then came the epiphany:

Why the heck not?

And so my straightforward coast-to-coast walk got a little less straightforward and a lot more fun. Now instead of just walking along, I'm approaching the whole thing as if it were a game. Specifically, an MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game). I've made up a brief character sheet for the players - namely myself and Anna - and I hope to complete quests (for example: various sights I hope to see) and unlock achievements (for example: each new state I walk into) along the way.

I mean, I've been playing Guild Wars for six years now - I think that's the longest I've ever done any one thing. It was bound to rub off on me in some way. I'm impressionable like that.

On her way from Maine to California, Wells ended up walking into the offices of ArenaNet, which had learned of her mission. Guild Wars 2 designer Linsey Murdock called Wells' journey one of the "coolest things I have ever heard of! Ever!" It was one thing to get a tattoo inspired by a favorite game, said Murdock, but it was another to "take an epic journey across the country on foot with your trusty animal companion[.] That's magical."

ArenaNet has since immortalized Wells in one of the most appropriate (and suitably awesome) ways ever - with her own Guild Wars 2 NPC. Ameranth (Wells' online handle) is one of GW2's sylvari plant people. Unlike the others of her kind, however, Ameranth can be found wandering around the world far from her home tree, accompanied by her faithful sylvan hound companion Anna.

Maybe "Anna" isn't the most creative name for a plant-dog-thing in a fantasy world, sure, but it's hard to deny how awesome it is that she - and her owner - are now in it.

Source: ArenaNet

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Pfff THAT's all I have to do to get my own NPC in an MMO? Easier than becoming a computer programmer.

Man, I've wanted to walk across the states for a while, but if I ever do it now, people are going to say, "Oh, you're just copying that MMO girl."

Pfft, Forrest Gump already did it!

Sounds fun, actually. I'm kinda jealous.

...also reminds me of geocaching, for some reason.

i'm curious...how the hell do people have the time to do this? can you honestly just up and leave your life, just like that, on a hunch? Good god would my life be screwed when I came back if I just up and left to do something like that...hell for a couple days, let alone however long it took her to do that.

still, kudos, bet she had calves of steel after that, not to mention a booty that you could bounce a quarter off of.

gmaverick019:
i'm curious...how the hell do people have the time to do this? can you honestly just up and leave your life, just like that, on a hunch?

Yep. It's easier than it looks, and happens more often than you think. Hollywood alone should be proof enough of that.

gmaverick019:
i'm curious...how the hell do people have the time to do this? can you honestly just up and leave your life, just like that, on a hunch? Good god would my life be screwed when I came back if I just up and left to do something like that...hell for a couple days, let alone however long it took her to do that.

still, kudos, bet she had calves of steel after that, not to mention a booty that you could bounce a quarter off of.

It's hard to leave everything behind to do something as time consuming as this, I know (I mean, I haven't walked that distance, but you get the idea), but it's entirely possible. Heck, maybe even after finishing your epic journey, you could get even more respect (no offense) from your family and co-workers. Even more respect to your own self.

OT: That's awesome :D, I love Guild Wars, it's just one of those games I always keep installed in my hard drive and I just keep coming back to it, I just simply can't get enough of it. Maybe it gets a bit boring sometimes, but I just move on to other games, keep a few sabathical weeks or months and when I come back to it, it just feels like an old friend greeting me and happily having a drink with me.

I shall name my next bitch dog Anna.

I'm so jelly...
I heard she didn't sleep at motels or anything, she just camped. How did she shower and get food..?

(For players of the original Guild Wars)
I smell the new "Nicholas the Traveller" type NPC....

No?
Well, that's how I see it as from the description anyway...

OT: Yeah, don't know how she managed to just leave her life on hold for the (x) number of months it'd take to walk that far...
You would either need to be self-employed, the CEO of a company, unemployed, or have someone who is unemployed to fill your life for you....
As for the cost to do the entire trip?
I don't even want to count....

I imagine it'll take her less than a year and a half if she does a reasonably straight line. Going off of the ~2175 mile AT, which takes an average of 6 months to complete over mountainous terrain, I think it's about 4-6K miles from coast to coast.

She's gonna hit the rockies and then we'll never hear about this again. I spent a week in Colorado and just going to the liquor store meant I'd have to notify my next of kin in case I didn't make it back.

John Funk:
"coolest things I have ever heard of! Ever!"

God I hope that's a misquote. Some random chick decides to go for a walk and that's the coolest thing you've ever heard of? Nothing like perspective, is there. I guess the doctors performing groundbreaking surgery to save patients or the man who saved one billion lives through revolutionary crop science (yes, one billion) are not quite as cool.

Humans... Pfft.

Grey Day for Elcia:

John Funk:
"coolest things I have ever heard of! Ever!"

God I hope that's a misquote. Some random chick decides to go for a walk and that's the coolest thing you've ever heard of? Nothing like perspective, is there. I guess the doctors performing groundbreaking surgery to save patients or the man who saved one billion lives through revolutionary crop science (yes, one billion) are not quite as cool.

Humans... Pfft.

Are you talking about Norman Borlaug?

TheVioletBandit:

Grey Day for Elcia:

John Funk:
"coolest things I have ever heard of! Ever!"

God I hope that's a misquote. Some random chick decides to go for a walk and that's the coolest thing you've ever heard of? Nothing like perspective, is there. I guess the doctors performing groundbreaking surgery to save patients or the man who saved one billion lives through revolutionary crop science (yes, one billion) are not quite as cool.

Humans... Pfft.

Are you talking about Norman Borlaug?

Yeah. He will be missed :'(

Acrisius:
I'm so jelly...
I heard she didn't sleep at motels or anything, she just camped. How did she shower and get food..?

The only answer I can think of for this question is good old mother nature :P

Damn, that's actually pretty cool, and one hell of a reward for the efforts of an adoring fan. It's nice to hear an up-beat news story once in a while, and then watch someone shit all over it.. *sigh*

Kind of odd how her goals changed from altruistic (helping people in need) to consumerist (seeing sights) when she made the transition from the virtual world to the physical.

Lewieroo0:

Acrisius:
I'm so jelly...
I heard she didn't sleep at motels or anything, she just camped. How did she shower and get food..?

The only answer I can think of for this question is good old mother nature :P

So she hunted for meat and gathered berries and shit? And took baths in lakes and rivers, that btw are probably polluted? :D

Don Reba:
Kind of odd how her goals changed from altruistic (helping people in need) to consumerist (seeing sights) when she made the transition from the virtual world to the physical.

Maybe she would give homeless people money if they had giant yellow explanation points over their heads.

Fappy:

Don Reba:
Kind of odd how her goals changed from altruistic (helping people in need) to consumerist (seeing sights) when she made the transition from the virtual world to the physical.

Maybe she would give homeless people money if they had giant yellow explanation points over their heads.

Unfortunately, there is a helium crisis in the US, so floating balloons might be over the budget for homeless people.
Thus, we have a self-perpetuating cycle: no money → no helium → no pittance.

Don Reba:
Kind of odd how her goals changed from altruistic (helping people in need) to consumerist (seeing sights) when she made the transition from the virtual world to the physical.

People aren't video game characters. They often have multiple goals and aspirations. I might donate to charity one day, and buy a hamburger the next. Plus, seeing sights by walking around the country is far from consumerism (which involves purchasing satisfaction through goods/services, not attaining it from your own experience).

 

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