At some point in time the term “Metaverse” appeared and is currently trending. Facebook defined the Metaverse as “a set of virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people who aren't in the same physical space as you.” Another dimension; beyond this physical space I am seeing, feeling, and experiencing now? Initially I thought of this as a strange concept and something existing in a distant future to me, but then I realized that I had already stepped into this new world.

Most of my life I never enjoyed or felt addicted to games. Rather, I had been wary of falling too far into the digital world and not being able to distinguish it from the real world. Even if I read an article that people were seriously addicted to something in the digital realm, I struggled to sympathize and could not understand addictive personalities, and I had even been someone who dismissed addicts as weak people. In February 2021, last year, I had quite a big incident happen to me. I was separated from a friend who I had been in a two year long deep relationship with. We had spent most of our time together, and he had so much influence on me that I really considered him to be my anchor. I also firmly believed to have had a big impact on him as well, but it was not so true. I suddenly became alone without any preparation. At that time, I was suffering heavily from depression and lethargy which made daily life near impossible. I started by wasting time on my cell phone, lying in bed for a week or so, and then I accidentally came across a game advertisement on my SNS. The name of the game was “Homescapes” by the company Playrix. As far as I can remember, the advert showed the main character being in some sort of danger and was asking for help to get out of the crisis. I immediately opened the App Store and downloaded the game without delay, as if I had been possessed by something. It led me to another dimension of space.

In the game, I am introduced to the main character named Austin, his family, and their shabby house. Austin’s family tries to sell the old and dirty home, but he persuades them to decorate and repair it to keep the beautiful memories that are associated with the house. He tells me that our goal is to collect stars, that will serve as money, through playing puzzle games in order to cover the cost of repairing his house. [figure 1] All of a sudden, I found myself playing games all day long and collecting stars enthusiastically. During this time I did not go outside; I just concentrated on repairing and decorating their house for over 15 hours a day. Austin was pleased with the state of his developing home and always supported me. This became a sort of comfort to me. His positive expressions, and the gradually more beautiful appearance of the house made me feel like I was doing something important. It was a sense of stability. As I struggled to be confronted with my unsatisfying existence in reality, the virtual space became an escape as I created another room for myself.