He seemed a bit odd. The majority of the people at the store were hard-core computer gamers and high school students. Occasionally a group of young professionals would come in for a round or two of Quake over lunch or on a night out. That’s what stuck out at first, his schedule (well, his well dressed appearance was a bit odd compared to the rest of the clientele) - he would come in at any hour of the day and play for a few hours. Initially, someone suggested that he take a look down stairs rather than at the store front - things were a bit more interesting down there. So, he went down and watched someone play one of the games for a few hours. The next day, he came in and wanted to play the game himself.

He has been back almost every day since and he plays for a few hours. The shop owner next door knew him from years ago. He's not a someone that a person off the street would know - they may recognize the last name somewhere, a few might be able to associate the name with a line of stores. Very few at the store knew his line of work (don't worry - its perfectly legitimate… if you consider politics legitimate). Downstairs though, no one recognizes him beyond knowing he's a regular. And once in the game, he's even less well recognized.

One of the wonders of the net is the ability to become someone else - or cast off the familiarity of the person who you are in real life. You become a fantastic name… possibly a gender, class or score too (depending on the activity). But most importantly, you are who you put forth… in reality you could be a senator or a beggar it doesn’t matter to those who play with you hundreds or thousands of miles away. To them, you are some guy who is good with the sniper rifle and knows how to protect the flag… that’s all that matters.

This is especially appealing to those who have a public persona. To these people, you go somewhere, and the politics of the world they live in follows them - people asking for money, or an exchange of favors. Things and actions are expected from these people - the curse of fame? And here, on the net, they can loose all that and be regarded as just another person if they wish.

For all you know, next time you get hit by a rocket launcher in an online game… maybe that was Larry Ellison at the other end of the link.