Toastmasters Speech #2: What MMORPGs Taught Me About Life

Toastmasters is a club where you not only enhance your public speaking skills but also get inspiration from others. Learn more and do more! Here is what my second speech looked like:

Mister Toastmaster, fellow members (and guests). Many of us would enjoy making friends from all over the world and engaging with the global community. How? Welcome to the world of MMORPGs or massively multiplayer online role-playing games where you are instantly connected with people with varying goals, just like real life. I could say I spend a fairly large chunk of time spending time in the virtual world. Whether it be the thrill of encountering dangerous monsters or just enjoying the scenery, I find myself experiencing something new each time. What have years of playing these MMORPGs taught me about life? The best times are often temporary, surprises can come in large packages and teamwork supersedes individuality.

Why are the best times fleeting? Back in college, I used to be part of a league or a club like Toastmasters and others in a game called DDTank, a 2D browser game where you throw plungers, swords and nuggets to destroy your enemies. My league mates and I would help the novices learn the game mechanics. We would duel each other for fun. Other times, we would be more serious when taking on dangerous missions that could well take a few hours to pass successfully. We would do everything together. One of my good friends, in particular, was my battle “partner.” We would rarely go against each other and stick together as a team. Playing with him was one of my most enjoyable moments in that game. In life, we don’t want good times to end. Thinking back to the Toastmasters gathering last Friday, I wish we could just talk and talk, but unfortunately we had to part ways. On the road when we see consecutive green lights, we’re overjoyed; but once a red light comes, we return to our normal state. We would give anything to relive those events. But, we can’t forget about those little surprises that come along.

Surprises are sometimes pleasant but they can also leave us awestruck. In DDTank, I would never imagine myself getting married to someone or seeing my league mates viciously bickering. I got married twice. The first marriage lasted a while unlike the second, less than 24 hours. So, I have been virtually divorced twice. Yes, it surprises me still although it was only a game. On the other hand, I would never have thought my league would verbally abuse each other. Sometimes, the neutral side which would usually include myself would have to play negotiator to lead to a peaceful solution. Only with the power of words would we be able to resolve such situations, hoping they would never rise again. In life, we have good and bad surprises. The sudden loss of a loved one leaves us in agony while a birthday surprise brightens up our mood. The people around us bring these surprises and sometimes, we have to work together to overcome grief or celebrate an occasion. But, there’s more to teamwork than that.

No matter how introverted of a personality you could have, teamwork beats individual strength. In DDTank, doing dungeons with several stages could not possibly be accomplished with individual willpower. It took careful planning of strategy and constant losses to see the light of success. In a way, the game promoted togetherness for comfort. A brave person may put in effort to battle a brutal dragon, but the result is futile. Only with the help of a team who sees eye to eye and joins as one would be able to accomplish such a feat. In life, we start by ourselves but as we grow, our teammates become our parents, siblings, friends and co-workers. With their support, we achieve more and stay happy. It is no wonder the human is a social creature much like other animals. Our comfort comes from those interactions we have with whom we cherish the most. Chatting and having fun are what I love about MMORPGs. The virtual world is indeed a magnificent world.

MMORPGs are unique. They leave us with so much emotion and wonderful memories. The good times playing with friends, experiencing surprises and working as a team to vanquish evil are all powerful events. Digging deeper, we see those life lessons pouring out. One more thing, this is the tip of the iceberg for MMORPGs. More to come later, hopefully. Back to you Mister Toastmaster.


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