During this time around, at the tip of September, I was on vacation for three weeks, surfing the net on a VPN, not considering Google or Discord while I was a student in China. I may have missed the increasing hype around MapleStory 2 as old fans thought we would pick up the action. My obsessions during China were the shopping app Taobao along with the food delivery app Meituan, which gets you midnight MS2 Mesos snacks for just a 2 to 3 RMB service charge ($0.29 to $0.44). Little did I know that my entire Discord horde was busy buying founders’ packs that grant you extra boosts, designing their little Lego-like houses, buying cute clothes, and upgrading weapons in MapleStory 2.
But once I landed in New York again, I saw that my buddies had their real names as usernames. Short, crisp, five-letter names which contain references to early anime, Twitch streams, and Buy MS2 Mesos company values. (The last one was my boyfriend, who bought his founder’s account from the black market after he returned from China, struggled to discover a username, and concluded on using his company’s price of accountability. He got his other username by investigating his jury duty summons. Yeah, I know.)