Dear Richard Oldham,
I understand that you really like World of Warcraft, the popular interactive video game. In the game, you forged a career as a blacksmith, turning not-real metals into not-real weapons. Few people take their online avatars and turn them into real careers, but most people aren’t you, Rich. Also, I suppose it’s easier to become a blacksmith than, say, a wizard or a warlock, right?
After realizing that you’d spent literally four years playing the online role-playing game, you gave it up. To start a real-life career as a blacksmith. To remedy your unemployed status, you said, “I made a list of things I wanted to do and things I liked doing, and blacksmith was on there.”
So you found two blacksmith’s shops to apprentice with in your native Sheffield, England, and began learning the craft. Now you’ve turned the hundreds of hours you spent in front of a monitor into an actual career, working four days a week between the two shops. “I love it. It’s hard work and at the minute I’m at the bottom of the chain so to speak. So I’m doing a lot of sweeping and things like that,” you said. “It all just seems so magical to me, you take a piece of metal and hit it with a hammer and it comes out as something different. And often it’s quite beautiful.”
You know what else is beautiful? You are.
Yours (for real!)