When I entered Blue Mars for the very first time, the first person I met was a Fool on a hill, wearing gold tights and angel wings. I logged off thinking I’d imagined things, but the next night, the Fool was still there, only this time, he wore a crushed velvet robe, and a paper bag on his head. He’d been standing on a rock in the Welcome Area, he told me, since the Welcome Area began.
“It’s a more of a perch,” he clarified. “I can see people arrive, interact, yet somehow stay unsullied.” He added, “I’m a Buddhist. I lived with the Tibetans for a couple of years. Was ordained Jnana Bodhi for my sins... my bungalow overlooked his Holiness’ place.” (That’d be the Dalai Lama to you and me.)
I asked the Fool how he went from Tibet to being in a virtual world.
“I’m 61, Hammy,” he answered. “Got an afternoon? I’m working on my Ph.D, Blue Mars plays an important role in my thesis. I’m not here playing.” (He writes a Blue Mars blog, too.)
Someone named Uriah Iris passed by. “He's the local spiritual guide/crazed nutter,” he told me helpfully. And the Fool agreed to that. “I am the Id to your odd,” Uriah added.
So this is who you’re most likely to first meet, when you go to Blue Mars. The Fool multitasks when the Welcome Area is empty, then dispenses wisdom when someone arrives. Also, he added, “I meet girls.” So he’s got that going for him too.