Just recently, an old video game I loved to play 10 years ago, was announced for revival–but in a totally different environment. The old game was Dark Age of Camelot and the new game is called Camelot Unchained. The new game is being lead by Mark Jacobs, former GM/CEO/VP at Mythic Entertainment, which developed Dark Age of Camelot, until they were picked up by Electronic Arts and became EA Mythic. In actuality, the new game is a completely new game run by the same developer, but the concept stays the same in which the very exciting RvR aspect and the Camelot thrill will still remain.
Camelot Unchained announcement went live on Kickstarter in April and hit its mark of over two million dollars in crowd funding by the time it ended on May 2nd. I wrote to Mark Jacobs to let him know exactly why the project was so important to me. I don’t think many people understand how game development can be an amazing life saver beyond the typical artistic and creative talents.
Camelot Grew On Me
At the time Dark Age of Camelot was released, I had my second child and the 9/11 World Trade Center devastation sent scores of deployments out for months at a time. After my first child, I began to go through some postpartum depression and didn’t have a lot to look forward to, then 9/11 happened and my husband could be called out at any time.
That’s when my husband introduced me to Dark Age of Camelot and I played with him and his friends for hours on end. I was pregnant with my second child at the time and I remember being in RvR and going through some very hard labor contractions. My husband was trying to get me off the computer and down to the hospital, but I told him I wanted to finish the RvR first because I wasn’t a quitter! That’s when I knew I was really enjoying RvR and I had found a game that I really enjoyed! The whole time in labor I kept thinking I just wanted to be in Camelot right now! Of course, I never took medication for the pain, so maybe that had something to do with it?
I’m Not Lonely Anymore
Now, mind you, I am a well educated woman–I dual-majored at Hawaii Pacific University for Computer Science and Business Entrepreneurship, but it was hard to find myself moving up in the world due to my husband’s career being first and foremost. Obviously, military life is not for everyone. However, I held a career, raised three kids all 17 months apart, and was a military wife without family or friends around. Of course, I was a girl gamer (and the only female in my Computer Science courses back in 1997), so finding those kinds of video gaming moms was extremely rare (and still is to this day). I was used to being alone when my husband was deployed or gone away for a while, but Camelot brought me closer to the world and people with similar interests. For the first time, this was a game that made me feel like I was never alone. I actually made friends all over the world in Camelot and I could even play with my husband when he was gone!
I Found My Home Away From Home
The thing with Camelot is that it was a home away from home for me. My life is, and always has been, a great life, but with as many hats that I wore and as much responsibility I had in the real world, I had lost myself a bit as a mother and a wife. Between depression and anxiety, having three kids 17 months apart, dealing with multiple deployments, having no family or friends around, being unable to advance in my career due to our lifestyle, and moving from one place to the next within 2-3 years at a time, I needed a solid piece of fantasy to be a heroine–someone everyone knew, everyone loved, and a familiar place I could return to again and again. Camelot brought me to that place and to this day, the sounds, the music, the environment – makes me nostalgic.
So, as game developers, they don’t just create games for “fans”. They create a perfect rendition of our inner selves. As humans, we all need something during difficult moments in our lives. Some people need a best friend to talk to, others need a hero to look up to; but for me, in a time when I needed something, Mark Jacobs and Mythic Entertainment gave me Camelot.