I, like most people, have always dreamed about the possibility of living somewhere else. But for me, the places I dreamed of living were never actually real. I always fantasized about living in the fictional worlds I read about in books or saw on a screen.
When I was younger, I was obsessed with Harry Potter. It was a love I shared with all of my classmates and probably most of the nation. To this day, I meet people my age who grew up with Harry and his friends, and there are still clubs and charities I know of based around Harry Potter. If I could have chosen anywhere to live in a fictional world when I was a child, it would have been Hogwarts. I was positive I’d be a Ravenclaw. Sometimes I would pretend I was actually in Hogwarts. I could make up any kind of room to visit or scenario to re-enact, because, when magic is involved, anything is possible.
I have a confession: I am a huge fan of Star Trek. And if the human race does have a future, I would not mind if it looked like the one Gene Roddenberry created for us in the Earth of the Federation. Sure, things on Earth are not perfect; they never are.
But still, Federation Earth is a utopia precisely because it was designed to be so. There is no longer poverty or war. Let the galactic explorers run into trouble out there in space. I’d prefer to stay on my home planet and become an intellectual, thank you.
I have to pick at least one video game world, if only because I spend so much time in video game worlds that I have to fall in love with at least one of them. The trouble is that most places in video games are, by their very nature, riddled with conflict. There is often combat going on all over the place, such as the dragon apocalypse that taints the landscape of Skyrim.
When there is not, there is some underlying corruption that would make the place unpleasant even at its prime: Here, I am almost obligated to name Rapture or Columbia. Even the Mushroom Kingdom would be a wash, because the head of state is constantly being kidnapped!
But, if I could choose one place in any game that I would enjoy living, if only for a bit, it would be the Citadel in Mass Effect. The idea of living in a massive city in space would appeal to me anyway, and the Citadel has the bonus of safety and exposure to lots of different alien cultures.
With the exception of Hogwarts, I think of myself living in a place just as I am: A human civilian without any powers or military training. In that case, I think the Citadel would be the ideal place for me to call home, even if it is cursed with a race of malicious precursors who want to destroy all sentient life in the galaxy. Oh well. No place is perfect.
Rachel Kaser is a Herald correspondent and author of the Play Button blog at KDHnews.com.