However, beneath the relaxed composure of the COM 101 instructor lies the boundless power of Jedi Master Katarine Ryiah, dedicated to wielding the force against the vile Sith in their heinous mission of galactic conquest.
The careful facade of Daniels’ college success gives way to reveal the outlaw Braiden Sky, who spurned his familial duty of becoming a Jedi knight for a life of drug addiction and excess in the criminal underworld, a wretched hive of scum and villainy.
These are two of Daniels’ characters on the online ‘play-by-post’ roleplaying forum, The Gungan Council. Daniels has been logging on since 2007 to participate with nearly 8,000 players from around the world in the never-ending struggle of good versus evil.
She admits to spending up to eight hours a day on the site, which she conceded might be a bit much. However, she says she’s a full-fledged TGC junkie with no plans of stopping. Daniels even expressed interest in writing her thesis on online roleplaying.
Created in 1999, The Gungan Council takes advantage of the “Star Wars” expanded universe, a continuity outside the popular film franchise, to let players explore the space opera through text-based adventures.
“Think of it like telling different chapters in a story,” Daniels said. “I might write a chapter where I want my character to do something and then other people will throw their character in, and while I don’t control their characters, we all have to interact together. So it’s like writing a book together but you only control one character.”
Players are free to create whatever adventure they choose, as long as they do not violate the three basic rules: No killing other characters without permission, stick to “Star Wars” and the rules of the universe, and don’t be a jerk.
“We didn’t come on here to make fun of people or diss them,” Daniels said. “The Internet is a very weird place. Sometimes, people get out of line, but we try to stick together and abide by treating each other with respect.”
Daniels describes herself as an introvert, not much of a partier and shy here on Earth.
But as a Katarine Ryiah, she is a diplomat and confident warrior politician, bringing peace across the Galaxy.
When asked on the online forum, other players expressed similar sentiments of camaraderie and socialization among their ranks. TGC’s creator and Jedi Master under the alias ‘General Creel’ puts it best.
“In a time when Twitter, Facebook and other sites have caused online discussion to become very brief, TGC and other surviving message boards in general are a much-needed relic from a time when the Internet moved slower,” Creel said. “Discussion threads here often last not for hours or days, but months and years.”
Daniels began her journey to TGC at a young age. In school, she often played “Star Wars” tabletop roleplaying games, joking that her parents would have freaked out if she had chosen Dungeons and Dragons.
In middle school, she was introduced to the play-by-post format on a now defunct roleplaying forum. After a few years off, she began to get the proverbial itch and found TGC on Google.
From there, it was history.
While an undergrad, she even recruited her sister and roommate, both of whom are avid players to this day.
“I’m never going to stop,” Daniels said with a wide smile. “I’ll be the mom who spends time with her kids and then locks herself in her bedroom so she can kick some butt.”