Where, I wondered, was my beloved game?
I manuvered the virtual landscape a bit, trying this button and that, hoping to figure it all out.
One button responded differently than all the rest - it switched to a screen that revealed the multitude of gamers worldwide, playing this virtual empire.
Hmmm. I thought to myself, as I clicked yet another button that magically delivered me to a game table with none other than the very enterprise I was searching for.
I squealed with delight! Two opponents had also taken a seat beside me, and waited.
Gulp. I hadn't time to figure out any of the controls - but I was up first - my adversaries waiting in the wings for their turn.
I found the chat feature. "I'm a newbie. Patience please . . ."
"Sure thing," came a reply. "Just please don't leave the game."
Oh I won't, I thought to myself. If I could just manage to understand these icons in a flash.
Play began, and gingerly turns were passed among us. I fumbled, I strained, I played fluidly.
And then it happened.
I lost ALL power to my computer.
"AAAAArrrrrrggghhh!" my frustration turned to immediate panic. Scrambling, I hunted in vain for my power supply. After much ado, I finally logged back in.
"This game has been temporarily interupted. Please log back in to continue."
What a relief! None of my information had been lost!
Except . . . except . . . there was no way in which to relog in from that particular screen. It wouldn't allow me to move in or out, I was trapped, without recourse.
Ultimately, the night ended without enabling that particular pasttime. I was forced to begin anew, with different oponents.
Perhaps one day, while walking in the virtual world, I might find my fellow gamers who asked me not to leave the game. When I see them, I'll tip my virtual hat and offer a virtual apology for circumstances beyond my control.