OK, I am a geek. But at least it's something I openly admit and don't try to hide.

Yesterday marked the 10 year anniversary of EVERQUEST, the Big Daddy of online games. Even if you never played the game yourself, chances are you know or knew someone who devoted tons of their time into this virtual fantasy world.

It was long ago dubbed EVERCRACK for its addictive qualities...it's magical pull that sucked you into the game for just another 10 minutes...just another 10...I SWEAR! Just another TEN MINUTES!!

For those not familiar with the game, it is what is known as a massively multiplayer online role playing game. While most games are played as single player or two player games, those of the online variety allow thousands...even millions...of people to share the online world simultaneously.

And what a world it is. Forests. Deserts. Icy Mountains. Molten lava pits. Hostile ruins and safe towns and villages. Orcs. Dragons. Wolves. Wizardy and swashbuckling. EVERQUEST still has it all.

Since it went online in 1999 (to put things in perspective...remember what cell phones used to look like in 1999), it was revolutionary. And 15 expansion packs later, it still is. Each expansion added new terrain, monsters, armor, and of course, QUESTS. Thousands and thousands of quests.

The game offers alliances, economic systems, politics, and neverending adventure. The game literally never ends because even when you reach maximum level, there is always something new to see or do.

The land of Everquest pulled some people so deeply into it, many people sacrificed work and family and leisure for it. It has been known to be the cause of more than just a couple of divorces.

But that's because people need to have more will power. Realize it is a game and treat it as such. A few hours a week is therapeutic. Anything beyond that can border on the obsessive and dangerous.

The 10 year anniversary is a great time for new players to enter the world of Norrath. The game can be bought online at www.everquest.com for just $39.99 which is awesome considering that it includes the core game, plus all 15 expansion packs! Each one of those expansions sold for full retail back in the day, so it's a real bargain for new players. There is a nominal subscription price each month (the first month is free to try it out) of $14.99. There's even a 10 day free trial on the website with no strings attached. It lets you try out the first 10 levels (the latest expansion has raised the cap to 85).

One thing is for sure, despite the bells and whistles and sexiness of newer games like WORLD OF WARCRAFT and WARHAMMER, there is nothing like the originals. Old School RULES! Check it out. Welcome to Norrath! Let your imagination soar!

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