This is a pretty interesting topic for my gameplay experience with Lord of the Rings Online because I chose to play as an elf, but not one who is a magic user.
So what does magic have to do with her? As I moved within the gamespace, I tried to think of moments in which magic occurs, when it weaves itself into the environment, and what would seem like magic to species within the fictional world. The from the first moment of contact my avatar had with Lord Elrond, I learned that my home city was under siege so that the evil dwarf king could steal ancient relics that had the power to grant him immortality. It seemed strange and yet understandable that the elves would be in possession of such an item. With their natural longevity, which makes them seem like magic incarnate to other species with shorter lifespans, elves have time aplenty to safeguard magical items that have the potential to extend the lives of creatures they deem unworthy and as enemies (though grudgingly, not as horrible as orcs). What else would have been a magical moment? Would it have been when my avatar’s guardian and teacher decided to end the siege and save the elves of Lorien by using his magic to demolish the building with the evil dwarf king and him inside? And what about the moments when elven spellcasters sent spells towards their enemies, pixelated bursts of color?
For my gameplay experience, magic was always an indirect experience for my avatar. She was an observer, waiting for action to occur in front of her so she would swing steel upon her enemies. Healing was done by someone else, as was reading from magical tomes and interpreting dreams. Six hundred years may have passed between the siege of her home city and her first exploration into the downfall of the mad king, but those six hundred years were part of her natural lifespan. The ability to not be worn down by the passage of centuries may seem like magic to humans and dwarves and hobbits, but that ability is something few elves think about. They are immortal; why would time concern those who have never truly had to feel it sink teeth into the body, make the joints ache, and slowly drag one towards death? Though elves are immortal, they are not invincible. Best for them to watch for their enemies’ magic, sword, and arrow, lest they litter the ground as corpses. But I digress. In LOTRO, magic is there as something to be cast, used for attacking, defending, or healing, but it depends on the role the player selects for the character. Wizards are not playable, but minstrels are, and in this world, a mistrel wields magic. As can lore-masters and rune-keepers, but I had chosen the path of a champion, blade in hand. Magic is to be cast around me or upon me (for good or ill), but it would not be mine to wield, even if it meant watching my teacher sacrifice himself to guard ancient secrets.
End of Semester, Anyone?