Source: The Onion, of course.
Night had fallen in the dungeon of Anaias. Four heroes, exhausted, sat Indian-style around a small fire, fighting hunks of tough, gristly meat with fingers and teeth. The gore and carnage from the latest battle had been shoved into one corner of the room--a room that, like all rooms in the dungeon, was curiously perfect in its proportions.
"All I'm saying," the scholarly Nabi was saying between bites, "Is that this Grey Lord guy must have had a hell of an architect. Each corridor exactly ten feet wide? That's just not representative of the technology level of most pseduo-Medieval societies."
Hawk was wiping grease off his dagger with a piece of Elven doublet. The vest had served faithfully as his armor for five levels, but he had found a mail aketon earlier in the day and had torn off the doublet without a moment's hesitation.
"What I find odd," he said, "Is how every time we move, we move exactly 10 feet. Just a minute ago, I tried to take a little baby step , but somehow I couldn't do anything but take my normal huge stride."
"Like an anti- Zeno's Paradox," Nabi mumbled through a mouthful.
The svelte Syra had been unusually quiet during the meal. She chose the brief lull in conversation to speak up.
"You know, in our user's world," she said in an obvious homage to Tron, "They have a holiday in which everyone eating a meal tells what he or she is thankful for. Since he's all alone today, I thought we might honor him by engaging in this odd custom."
"Our user?" snarled Leyla. "You mean the guy who managed to get me slaughtered by a flying snake nine times in an hour?"
Syra remained committed: "Just be thankful he doesn't go off to play Faery Tale Adventure and leave us stuck here forever."
That shut Leyla up quick.
Hawk was the first to speak. "I'm thankful," he said, "For the magic spell that permeates this dungeon and prevents food from ever spoiling or rotting. Imagine where we'd be otherwise."
"Uh, Hawk," Nabi hesitated, "I'm not sure there's..."
Hawk cut him off. "No. Don't even tell me there isn't a spell. I just ate a drumstick that we found in a chest inside a sealed wall."
Turkey legs, corn on the cob, apples, and chunks of giant mushroom-people. I'm almost sorry I'm missing Thanksgiving dinner.
"I hear there are some RPG characters who don't have to eat at all," Syra remarked.
"No, really. The gods of their world decided that slaying endless hordes of monsters is hard enough without having to worry about basic bodily needs, too."
"And we're stuck eating chunks of flesh from giant worms," Hawk said. "I knew I should have been a character in The Bard's Tale."
"You still have to drink in that game," Nabi remarked.
"Only one character has to drink in that game, and for a real role-playing reason. Besides, drinking is a separate issue--we'll save that discussion for a time when we have better screen shots."
The characters shifted uncomfortably. "Anyway, at least we can eat slices of worm round," Leyla offered. "I'm thankful I'm not like that poor bastard in Ultima II who had to travel all the way to Africa just to steal hundreds of orders of fish & chips. I mean, he couldn't have just caught a few fish from that frigate he was always going around in?"
"There's a balance, I suppose," said Syra. "I remember talking to an adventurer from Might & Magic. There, you only need to carry a little food, and you only use it when you rest. If you don't eat for days, you get fatigued and ultimately go insane, but it's not a constant nagging chore."
"I know you all get hungry," said Nabi, "But I'm thankful that when you do, you don't shout, 'I'M GETTING HUNGRY!' or 'AVATAR, I NEED FOOD!' I ran into this guy a while back from Britannia, and all he could talk about was how his companions bothered him every time they needed to eat."
"Yeah, we just start taking damage and dying," Hawk said.
"At least you do it quietly," Nabi said. He thought for a moment. "Odd, that guy. When I came back from the men's room, he'd taken off and stuck me with the tavern bill. All he'd left was a note that said, 'Hawkwind can suck it!'"
"Speaking of men's rooms," Syra said. "I'm thankful that this game doesn't require us to, shall we say, attend to any of the other needs on Maslow's bottom tier. There's such a thing as taking realism too far."
"Maybe," said Nabi. "But there's also such a thing as not taking it far enough. Isn't it odd to have such meticulously crafted houses and palaces in Oblivion, but no bathrooms? When was the last time you even saw a commode in a CRPG?"
"Oblivion," Leyla interjected, "Being the game where you somehow take a chunk of meat from a dog, combine it with some flour, and use a mortar and pestle to mash it into a potion." She shuddered. "I don't even want to think about what that tastes like."
"Since we're completely destroying the fourth wall," Hawk replied. "I have seen commodes in CRPGs. The was a whole row of them in this orc fortress in Icewind Dale II. One of them had a diamond hidden in it. That, my friends, is how you tell the true role-players from the poseurs."
"Real role-players don't hunt through orc excrement looking for diamonds?" Leyla said. "I don't know... our user seems to do a lot of that."
"Only metaphorically," said Hawk.